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Full text of "Shafer Court connections"

FOR ALUMNI OF 
THE ACADEMIC 



CANijIij^OF 

Vmi^lNIA 

COMMONWEALTH 




Join tlie JKams an Jnlilo, Oa^v^aii 

Big Islano. IiiLVitafioiial JBasketlDall 1 oinmameiif 




4'-:>i 





Tournament Package: $ 1,195 

(Based on double occupancy) 

Roundtrip Airfare from Richmond 

Four days/nights at Hawaii Nanllo;| Resort 

November 24, 25, 26 & 27, 1994 

Historic Hilo Bay, Hawaii 

Participating teams: Northern Iowa, Iowa State, New Orleans, 

Purdue, Illinois State, Niagra, Hilo, and VCU. 



Special Pre-Tournament Package: $ 295 

(Based on double occupancy) 

Additional Four days/nights 

Keauhou Beach Hotel 

November 20, 21, 22 & 23 

Beautiful Gold Coast of Kona Hawaii 

Family Plans Available 

For more information call: 

Andrea Osborne at (619) 770-3822 or 
Tom Shupe at (804) 367-2324 



*lfc 




..^-^ 



VCU ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 

Alumni Association Officers 

Pe^y Adams '87BGS/NTS 

President 

Marsha S. Shuler '74BS '79MA/B 

President-Elect 

Claire A. Collins '84MPA/C&PA 

Secretmy 

M. Kenneth Magill '65BS/B '69MS/E 

Treastirer 

Nicholas W. Orsi '65BS/B 
Pilst President 



Chairs of School Alumni Boards 

Jan R. Parrish '89MSW/SW 

School ofSocitil Work 

Faye J. Greene '89MIS/NTS 

Nontraditional SttuHes Progmni 

Jackie T. Thornton 77BS '78MS/B 

School of Business 

Vacant 
School of Education 

Beth W. Ayers '91MS/C&PA 

School ofCoinmttnity c~ Public Affairs 



Board of Directors 



Tenn Expiring '97 

Sally L. Bowring '83MFAyA 

Gaye S. Jones '90BSW/SW 

Mary-EUen A. Kendall '76BMH&S 

Milton J. Kusterer '67BS/C8cPA 

Term Expiring '96 

Jack L. Amos '68BF A/A 

Frederick D. Facka ■92MS/B 

Elly Burden Gill '79BS '91MEd/E 

Robert E Henley '71BS/B 

James A. Rothrock 78MS/C8cPA 

Linda B. Vines '82MSW/SW 

Term Expiring '95 

Sharon L Bryant '83MEd/E 

Donald B. Dodson '64BS/B 

Dana R. Ward '81BS '86MBA/B 

African American Alnnmi Coutieil 
Marilyn M. Campbell '81BS/H&S 




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Tlirec poets talk about the writing community in Paris and at VCV. 

8 

Jon liiKillE 

Creative engineering at VCU's new school. 
11 

lEMiiEii^ (IF m Old Si'ikiol 

Yes, say ahmmi, there was a School of Engineering Technology at VCU. 

12 

hin hu OF h'mm 

Business alninni cruise the information highway — and VCU goes online. 
14 

Si.m tmmi U Impact 

Physicist Pant fena is a force field for students and colleagues. 

19 

Tiiii IrFFEiciiyE hmum 

VCU responds, adapts and grows.. 

21 

Reunion '91 

Picture this! 
22 



DEPARTMENTS 



PO BOX 843044 

FROM THE PRESIDENT 

CAMPUS CURRENTS 



2 
3 
4 



A L U M N E T 
24 



POST GRAD 
CLASS OF -94 



VOL. 1, NO. 2 
SUMMER 1994 



Staff 

Mary EUen Mercer 

editor 

Ben Comatzer 

designer 

John Sarvay 

editorial assistant 
campus atrrents 

BillUes 

director of alumni activities 



Shafer Court Connections is 
a magazine for alumni and 
friends of the Academic 
Campus of Virginia 
Commonwealth 
University in Richmond- 
VCU is a public, urban 
university with an enroll- 
ment of 2 1 ,000 students 
on the Academic and 
Medical College of 
Virginia Campuses. The 
magazine is published 
three times a year by VCU 
Alumni Activities. 

Copyright© 1994 by 
Virginia Commonwealth 



University. 



VCU 



26 

2Q Virginia Commonwealth University 



An Equal Onnortun^/Affirmative 
COVER ILLUSTRATION BY KERRY TALBOT '88BFA/A Action University 









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Thank you! thank you! As an 
alumna of VCU, I was thrilled to 
receive the new alumni magazine. 
1 love the format, the color, the 
articles, the photos — it is a truly 
good alumni publication. I really 
like the "What's New" page 32 — 
it made me feel that you really did 
want to know what's been hap- 
pening. 

It's wonderful to see a publi- 
cation that recognizes the 
strengths of our university. My 
thanks to the entire staff for a job 
more than well done. 

Sherry Deems '72BFA '93MFA/A 



We have been thinking about West 
Coast ahimni, too. Watch for the 
cover story' in the Fall issue on 
VCU Alumni who've "gone 
Hollywood. " 



Three cheers for the first issue of 
Shafer Court Connections'. You 
and your colleagues have 
captured the spirit of VCU's 
Academic Campus and its RPI 
heritage in grand fashion. The 
School of Education's 30th 
anniversary feature portrays us 
very well through our alumni and 
faculty. 1 look forward to future 
issues of sec. 

John Oehler 

Dean, School of Education 



As you note in the magazine, 
88 percent of readers surveyed 
were in favor of recycled paper. 
Email doesn't use any paper and 
would allow for more frequent 
dissemination of news. And by 
eliminating paper versions of 
material, printing and postage 
costs could be saved. 

Dennis O'Connell '78BS/MC 

We are indeed thinking about 
going online with the magazine, 
perhaps by the fall issue. An elec- 
tronic announcement board for 
alumni is also an excellent idea. 
We're checking into it. We still 



need paper, of course; not all of us 
are wired. But we did get more 
response by email than U.S. mail. 

Letters, calls, email. Keep it 
coming! We got some great ideas, 
and the kudos were really energiz- 
ing. We hope you like this issue as 
well — and we thank you for your 
support. Contact us at Shafer 
Court Connections; VCU Alumni 
Activities; PO Box 843044; 
Richmond, VA 232S4. 
Fax: (804) 828-0878. Email: 
mercer@cabell.vcu.edu. 

New phone: 

(804) VCU-ALUM (828-2586) 




Great magazine! 
Charles H. Wood '64BS/B 



I wanted to tell you how great the 
new publication was. "Awesome" 
as my children say. I know you 
spent a tremendous amount ot 
time and energy to pull this 
makeover together and it sure 
looks like it was worth the effort. 
Great job to the staff. Keep up the 
good work. 

Lou Brooks '77BFA/A '82BS/AH 



From our email file: 

Congratulations! The Shafer 
Court Connections arrived yester- 
day and it looks great. Best wishes 
from Phil and me. 

Edith Brenner '78BFA/A 



I think the new format of the 
alumni magazine is terrific. Keep 
up the good work! 

One comment. I would like to 
see an article on the Greek system 
on campus. In addition, some 
commentary pertaining to West 
Coast alumni. 

Dwayne C. King •84BS/C8fPA 



I am an alumna who is listed in 
the AlumNet section o( Shafer 
Court Connections. 

I enjoyed the magazine very 
much, but my problem is that the 
information about me was sent to 
alumni activities about a year ago. 
I was just disappointed that old 
information was used without 
confirmation. 

Thanks for publishing your 
email address! 1 think that's great! 

Lori Blackmon '83BA/H&S 

Redesign slowed us down; we hope 
to stay more current. Lori updated 
us by email for AlumNet, a fast 
route for those on "the net." 



I wanted to say a couple of things, 
the first of which is that the new 
Shafer Court looks pretty good. 
The same useful information is 
there, packaged in a much more 
useful and enjoyable format. 
Good luck as your editorship goes 
forward. 

Secondly, have you ever 
thought about setting up an elec- 
tronic version of the magazine, 
plus other functions for alumni (a 
site for news of events, announce- 
ments; an emailing list), using the 
Internet? I admit it's much less 
likely that 1 would respond to the 
latest issue if 1 couldn't use my PC 
and email to do so. 



Corrections from our spring 1994 issue: 

We failed to credit the current photo of Jane Weaver Poulton 
'47BA/H8;S on page 29 to The News & Obserwr of Raleigh, NC. 

Confused by the new box number, we gave you the wrong zip code for 
our mailing address, which is Shafer Court Connections, VCU Alumni 
Activities, PO Box 843044, Richmond, VA 23284-3044. 




It was a mild-mannered Clark Kent of a street then, with no hint of the 
Superhub it became. Recognize it? Seepage 32. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF SPECIAL COLLECTIONS AND 
ARCHIVES. JAMES BRANCH CABELL LIBRARY, 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



Tee too ii Is- 



The spring semester brought good news for Virginia Commonwealth University. 

VCU enjoyed great success during the 1994 session of the General Assembly. Salary increases for faculty and 
staff and an increase in financial aid for VCU students were approved. We also held tuition increases to among 
the lowest at Virginia's doctoral institutions: 2.9 percent for Virginia undergraduates living on campus. 

Thanks to new legislation, academic medical centers may now enter into limited joint-venture arrangements 
with other health groups to improve their competitive position in the managed-care market. Legislators also 
authorized additional support for the Massey Cancer Center Rural Outreach Program, the Generalist Physician 
Initiative, and family practice sites, as well as planning funds to renovate the Virginia State Library, where we 
hope to move the Schools of Allied Health Professions and Nursing and Tompkins- McCaw Library. Finally, in a 
major step for the Virginia Biotechnology Research Park, the Governor signed legislation authorizing the 
Biotechnology Research Act, which will regulate biotechnology activity in the Commonweahh. 

The results of this legislative session mean our overall budget will increase by about 3 percent each year of the 
next biennium. By the end of 1995-96, our revenues will exceed $800 million, of which only about 14 percent will 
represent state general fund support. For MCV Hospitals, state support for indigent care has been reduced to zero 
with funding now coming solely from federal Medicaid payments. 

Through selected expenditure reductions, we 
reallocated funds in our 1994-96 budget to support 
several key initiatives from the university's strategic 
plan. 

One of the most important is restructuring the 
administration. The Committee on Administrative 
Review, with assistance from an outside consultant, 
is examining every aspect of VCU's administration. 
The goal is to promote greater efficiency, and our 
target is to reduce our administrative costs by 15 
percent — funds that we want to reinvest in long- 
range planning. 

Another major reorganization will not only 
support VCU's streamlining objectives but also 
enhance our urban mission. A task force appointed 
to study the future of the School of Community 
and Public Affairs recommended that the school be 
dissolved and its departments relocated to other 
areas where their strengths can be exploited. I have 
briefed alumni of the School of Community and 
Public Affairs and VCU's alumni leadership on the 
details of the task force's report, which is covered in 
this issue of Shafer Court Connections. 

I am pleased to report that for 1993-94 the 
University achieved the highest private gift support 
in its history — $24 million. That total combined with the last two years' total of $19.7 mdlion means VCU has 
raised almost $44 million in the past three years for some of its highest priorities. 

Those priorities of increased funding support for our strategic plan, financial access for students, greater 
financial stability for MCV Hospitals, and support for selected capital and limited expansion needs will continue 
to guide our year-to-year budget planning. 

As a timely confirmation of the progress we are making and the excellence of our programs, we recendy com- 
pleted a successful site visit for reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). VCU 
received an unusually high 13 commendations and several important recommendations for areas we have 
targeted for improvement. These include, among others, regular evaluation of undergraduate admissions poUcies; 
incorporating changes in the general-education core designed to build competence in oral communication and 
mathematical skills; review of graduate programs; tying the evaluation of undergraduate instruction to impro\ing 
teaching; and ensuring appropriate support for the strategic plan. 

I wish all of you a safe and relaxing summer. Please continue to stay in touch with us. 




Pitching VCU. President Eugene P. Trani (center) met in January with some of Virginia' i heavy liitters 
in Washington. Talkitigwith (left to right) Sen. John W. Warner, U.S. Rep. Norman Sisisky '49BS/B 
'92HLD, U.S. Rep. Thomas J. BUleyJr. and Sen. Charles S. Robb, Dr. Trani discussed VCU's new 
strategy to build stronger contacts with the federal research funding communit}'. 



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SUMMER 1994 





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NCA4 Women's Basketball Champions, North Carolina. 



WOMEN'S 
BASKETBALL 
SCORES BIG 
AT VCU 

A quality event was augmented by 
a stellar moment in basketball 
during this year's NCAA 
Women's Basketball Final Four 
games, hosted by VCU in April. 
More than 12,000 cheering bas- 
ketball fans fdled the Richmond 
Cohseum as Louisiana Tech, 
Alabama, North Carolina and 
Purdue Universities' basketball 
teams hit the hardwood. 
The weekend was a sellout 




months before the event, and it 
offered the university the chance 
to shine in the media spotlight — 
CBS televised the three final 
games nationally. The final 
seconds of the final game were 
among the most stomach- 
wrenching in collegiate basketball. 
North Carolina junior Charlotte 
Smith launched a three-point 



shot at the buzzer to down 
Louisiana Tech 60-59. 

The games are among a list of 
national athletic events hosted at 
VCU in recent years, including a 
men's NCAA Division I basket- 
ball subregional in 1990; Division 
I field hockey finals in 1992; and 
women's basketball East Regional 
last year. The men's basketball 
subregional returns in 1996. 

BROWN VS. 
BOARD OF 
EDUCATION 

A recent symposium at VCU 
brought giants of the civil rights 
movement together once more. 
Oliver Hill, Judge Robert R. 
Mehrige Jr. and James Farmer 
stepped from the pages ot history 
books onto a stage in the 
University Student Commons to 
mark the 40th anniversary of 
Brown vs. Board of Education. 

The two-day symposium 
examined events that led to and 
followed the 1954 decision, which 
desegregated America's public 
schools and broke a path for 
future civil rights advances. 

"Sometimes certain events 
become seminal moments in a 
nation's history," says Dr. Melvin 
Urofsky, VCU legal historian and 
co-organizer of the symposium. 
"In our time, there is probably no 
single event that has so shaped the 
contour of recent American 
history as the decision in Brown 
vs. Board of Education." 

Many symposium participants 
were involved in the Brown case 



and the civil rights movement, 
including: lack Greenberg, a 
member of the NAACP legal team 
that argued the case before the 
Supreme Court; Farmer, the 
former director of the Congress of 
Racial Equality; Hill, a Richmond 
civil rights lawyer involved in the 
Virginia court case that was part 
of the Brown decision; and 
Merhige, who heard many of the 
school desegregation cases in 
Virginia following the Brown 
decision. 

ARTS PARTNERS, 
NEW PLAYERS 
AT VCU 

The School of the Arts always has 
been active in the Richmond arts 
community, but a new partner- 
ship between Theatre VCU and 
Theatre Virginia is opening doors 
for the university's student artists. 
The music department and the 
Richmond Symphony also have 
developed an arrangement that 
brings the concert hall closer to 
the classroom. 

The theater agreement brings 
Theatre Virginia's design and 
acting professionals into the class- 
room as guest lecturers, and 
opens the VCU Performing Arts 
Center to performance rehearsals 
and workshops. 

Most excitiny for students is 



the chance to work as understud- 
ies in Theatre Virginia plays. 
"Our program's goal is to prepare 
our students for successful careers 
in professional theater," says 
Richard Newdick, department 
chairman. "Much of what is 
exciting and new in American 
theater originates in regional 
companies like Theatre Virginia." 

In a similar arrangement with 
the Richmond Symphony, four 
members of the Richmond 
Symphony, the Oberon Quartet, 
have joined the music faculty. The 
arrangement is one of the few 
joint appointments in the country 
between a regional orchestra and 
a university, and it gives the 
department a chance to continue 
building a strong orchestral 
program to go with a healthy base 
in jazz and opera. 

A primary goal is expanding 
the VCU Orchestra, in size and 
reputation. The four musicians 
will teach, recruit and perform at 
VCU. Students from other 
Richmond universities, such as 
Virginia Union University, will 
have the chance to play with the 
VCU Orchestra. A link with the 
Symphony's Youth Orchestras 
will bring gifted area high school 
students to play in VCU's orches- 
tra — and perhaps they'll decide to 
stay in the department. 




Oliver Hill at symposnun on Brown vs. Board of Education. 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 




Honoring Our Own. Faculty honored at VCU's annual Convocation in 
February share a collegial moment. ♦ Dr. Daniel Laskin, Award of 
Excellence, has done seminal research on teporomandibular disorders ( TMDs) 
in dentistry: and he passes onto studetits a "blend of academic honesty, utmost 
regard and compassion for the patient, and a clear and concise approach to 
selecting treatment. " ♦ Dr. Ralph Stnalt, Distiiigidshed Service Award, dra- 
matically restructured the Virginia Pharmac)' Association into the best in the 
coimtry. ♦ Pulmonologist Dr. Paul Fairman, Distinguished Teaching Award, 
is a compassionate and knowledgeable expert in the tnedical ethics of techno- 
logical support for deathly inpatients; his medical stiuients learn to treat the 
patient as a whole. " ♦ Novelist Patde Marshall, Distinguished Scholar 
Award, has brought international understanding and dehght to readers and 
won a MacArthur Award for 1992 {left to right). 



African culture for centuries as a 
stimulant. 

"People chew the drug as a 
stimulant much like Americans 
drink coffee or tea," Glennon 
said. "Because the problem was 
centralized in eastern Africa, 
other world governments did not 
see it as a problem. But now a 
potent and dangerous designer 
form of the drug has hit other 
parts of the world including the 
United States and Russia. In fact. 
Cat is now the number one syn- 
thetic drug of abuse in Russia." 

Glennon and his colleagues 
on the MCV Campus have begun 
to investigate how overdoses of 
Cat can be treated. 




STREET CAT: 
VCU RESEARCHES 
DESIGNER DRUG 

Dr. Richard Glennon, professor 
of medicinal chemistry, is keeping 
a wary eye on a new designer drug 
becoming ever more popular on 
the streets. Methcathinone (street 
name: Cat), is ten times more 
potent than cocaine, for which it 
is often substituted by addicts. 

Glennon and his team of 
researchers first identified and 
named the drug in 1987. Since 
theji, the inexpensive and highly- 
addictive drug has cropped up 
with growing frequency in the 
Midv/est. Cat is a derivative of 
khat, a plant used in eastern 



WE'RE NUMBER I — 
IN RESEARCH 

VCU's status as a national 
research university was bolstered 
by a recent report from the 
Carnegie Foundation for the 
Advancement of Teaching. 

The report cites VCU as one 
of only 88 institutions in the 
"Research Universities-!" 
category, upgrading VCU to the 
highest research level. Institutions 
in this group have broad 
academic missions and receive the 
bulk of federal research support 
for universities and colleges. VCU 
joins the University of Virginia 
and Virginia Tech as the only 
institutions in the state ranked at 
the Research University I-level. 

"This class of universities is 
generally considered the state-of- 
the-art; they are the benchmark 
that all research institutions strive 
to reach," says President Eugene 
P. Trani. 

The Carnegie Report, pub- 
lished periodically since 1973, is a 
key resource for campus officials, 
researchers and the media. U.S. 



News & World Report uses the 
classifications as the basis of its 
annual ranking of "America's Best 
Colleges." 

GET THE 
LIDOCAINE! 

VCU's Summer Discovery 
program for middle school kids 
brings a reprieve for parents. 
From lune 20 through August 5, 
Summer Discovery offers high- 
level fooling around that wiU 
make both kids and their parents 
happy this summer. A typical day, 
8:30-5:00, includes morning and 
afternoon classes followed by a 
late afternoon swim. 

Last year's exposure to "A 
Week in Medicine" really took. 
Middle schoolers used med 
school computer simulation to 
practice surgery — "Quick, get the 
lidocaine!" They watched the 
anatomy program, fascinated, as 
layers of epidermis peeled back to 
reveal living tissue and bone. 
"Cool graphics," said the video 
game vets. 

Anions; this summer's 26 





choices are mystery solving, 
African American culture, renew- 
able energy, computer or video 
art and animation, drawing, 
sculpture and fashion design. The 
cost is $100 a week plus fees for 
some classes, and scholarships are 
available. 

Brochures are available for 
mail-in registration. Call Patricia 
Worley in VCU's Division of 
Continuing Studies and Public 
Sendceat (804) 828-1831. 



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OPENING DOORS 
FOR RICHMOND 
TEENS 

Richmond politicians and civic 
leaders recently demonstrated a 
personal commitment to help at- 
risk youth overcome cycles of 
poverty and violence. The One to 
One Mentor Development 
Program at VCU held a training 
session for mentors of adolescents 
in the City of Richmond Juvenile 
Court System. City Manager 
Robert Bobb, Attorney Susan 
Hepner, Commonwealth's 
Attorney David Hicks and former 
U.S. Attorney Richard Cullen 
were among trainees who will 
work with Richmond teens as 
part of the city's Weed and Seed 
program. 

"When I was asked to partici- 
pate in this program I had to 
reach a critical decision, personal- 
ly, because I'm trying to raise my 
own boys and keep up with my 
busy schedule," said Bobb. "The 
survival of Richmond's young 
people really represents the 
survival of the entire metropoli- 
tan area." 

"This mentoring program is 
representative of the types of real- 




world solutions our center can 
implement to help address 
pressing urban concerns," says 
Dr. Robert Holsworth, co- 
director of the Virginia Center for 
Urban Development at VCU. 
The training session was 
developed by the Center and the 
local affiliate of One to One, a 
national initiative in 10 cities, 
including New York, Detroit and 
Los Angeles. Dr. Cathy Howard, 
assistant professor of psychology, 
is co-director of the Mentor 
Development Program at VCU. 
(Cullen, Bobb and Howard are 
left to right in photo.) 



MOVING IMAGES, 
STRANGE FILMS 

Independence was the watchword 
at the first lames River Festival of 
the Moving Image, sponsored in 
April by the departments of art 
history and photography and 
film. Thanks to faculty co-chairs 
Michael lones and Joan 
Strommer, 1500 happy Richmond 
moviegoers reveled in a slew of 
independent films that took their 
own shots at the human condi- 
tion — absurd, whimsical, wild, or 
touching. 

The festival also brought "dog 
artist" William Wegman to VCU. 
Wegman, famous for his videos, 
photographs and drawings featur- 
ing his Weimaraner dogs, was the 
festival's guest artist. He hosted 




"I want white Americans to stop 
experiencing black Americans vic- 
ariously through Oprah and 
Arsenio. We must realize that we 
are in this thing together whether 
you are driving a Mercedes or a 
Volkswagon. We are in the same 
boat and there's a leak in it." 

Cornell West, author of Race 
Matters, and professor of religion 
and director of African-American 
Studies at Princeton University, 
Community Learning Week at VCU 
in January. 



"Don't be fooled into believing that when laws 
change attitudes will as well. It's not true. Each gen- 
eration finds its own reason to hate. We must begin 
to ask. We must begin to tell. But most importantly 
we must listen." 

Lani Guinier, professor of law at University of 
Pennsylvania, Community Learning Week at VCU in 
January. 



the juried film selections at VCU 
and spoke at a retrospective of his 
video work at the Virginia 
Museum. 

The three-day event included 
several premieres, including 
Donald Sutherland in "Dr. 
Bethune," as well as seminars and 
workshops led by VCU faculty. 
Next year's expanded festival v*rill 
celebrate the centennial of film- 
making. 

TUNE IN TO 
FACULTY 

Along with their Virginia col- 
leagues, VCU's faculty have hit 
the public lecture circuit in the 
form of a weekly radio show 
broadcast on public radio stations 
throughout Virginia. The show, 
"With Good Reason," is a collab- 
oration of Virginia's public 
colleges, universities, public radio 
stations and the State Council of 
Higher Education for Virginia 
(SCHEV). 

"What has caught people's 
attention is that this is the first 
time in Virginia, and we think in 
the nation, that something like 
this has come together," says 
Michael McDowell, who coordi- 
nates the program for SCHEV. 
"One of the biggest commenda- 




"Conjoined twins are special people 
who often are better defined by their 
resilient spirits than by their unusual 
physical conditions." 

Dr. John M.Templeton Jr 
'73M pediatric surgeon at Children's 
Hospital of Philadelphia, Inaugural 
John M. Templeton Jr MD Lecture in 
Pediatric Surgery at the MCV Campus 
in March, Templeton donated $50,000 
to endow the lecture senes. 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



tions we've had is that we are now 
being broadcast by a university 
radio station in Tennessee." 

The show typically involves 
two guests in half-hour discus- 
sions, which have ranged from 
science and social responsibility 
to reforming national health care. 
VCU facility who've been guests 
include Dr. Louis Rossiter, 
director of VCU's Health Policy 
and Research Division, and Paul 
Keve, professor emeritus of 
justice and risk administration. 

"With Good Reason" airs 
weekly on five public radio 
stations: WCVE-FM in Richmond 
on Saturdays at 1 pm; WETS-FM 
in lohnson City, Tennessee, on 
Tuesdays at 7:30 pm; WHRV-FM 
in Hampton Roads on Tuesdays 
at llam;WMRA-FMin 
Harrisonburg on Sundays at 4:30 
pm; and WVTF-FM in Roanoke 
and Charlottesville on Tuesdays 
at 7:30 pm. Student radio stations 
at Virginia State University and 
Norfolk State University also air 
the program. 

So turn on your radio, tune in 
and listen up. 





READY. SET, 
THINK! 

Slip Donald and Maria Trump 
into a retelling of The Iliad or 
build a structure out of balsa 
wood that can hold more than 
700 pounds. More than 900 ele- 
mentary, middle and high 
school students from across 
Virginia spent a day at VCU 
scratching their heads over 
teasers like these, competing in 
Oddysey of the Mind. State 
director Susan Nunnemaker 
'65BS/H&S '68MEd/E 

explained that 
the competition 
tests creativity 
and quick- 




thmking in subjects from myth to math. Nunnemaker 
hopes that a taste of VCU vrill tempt some of these gifted 
kids to return someday as students. State winners went on 
tu the world competition in lune in Ames, Iowa. 



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"Unfortunately, the situation in Russia is going from bad to worse. It 
is true that the structure needed some reforms, but instead of 
reforms, [it was] just demolished." 

Gennadly Zyuganov, chairman of the re-established Communist 
Party of the Russian Federation (above left, with VCU sociologist Dr. 
Lynn Nelson and President Tram), speaking to VCU faculty in April. 



"Sunny with a chance of showers. (1 
really don't know anything about the 
weather.)" 

WiLLARD ScOTT, weatherman for 
NBC's "Today Show" (right, with 
Jason Laney, WWBT-TV Richmond), 
inductee to the Virginia Communica- 
tion Hall of Fame of the School of 
Mass Communications in April. 



"My video work can he hkened to 
Plato's Dialogues, only my work is pri- 
marily with dogs. According to Plato, 
art had no place in his ideal society. In 
mine, it would be right near the top. In 
my society, dogs would be allowed to 
ride on buses and trains like they do in 
Holland." 

William Wegman, artist (with collab- 
orator Fay Ray). James River Festival of 
the Moving Image in April, 



SUMMER 






s o c 



THEY 

SEIZE 

THE 

DAY 




T Y 



WORD 



B Y 



WORD 



BY ANNETTE V E R T N - M C G R AT H 

Sitting on the couch in Larry Levis' 
office, you can see the green dome of the 
Cathedral of the Sacred Heart with birds 
flying past it. It could be a view of an old 
European city. A natural place for three 
working poets to gather to talk about 
living by the word and how the MFA 
program has sheltered and nourished 
each of them. Richmond is not Paris. 
You can not spend long hours in 
sidewalk cafes discussing art. There has 
to be a place. For many, VCU is it. 
The MFA Program in Creative 
Writing is 10 years old, begun by English 
professor Maurice Duke. Levis, a poet 
with an international reputation, is the 
current director. Last faU he succeeded 
Greg Donovan, who has taught in the 
program since 1983 and directed and 
built it from 1985-93. Donovan contin- 
ues to teach and is working closely with 
alumni on a couple of projects to 
strengthen the program. (See note.) 
Jeannette Drake '76MSW/SW 



'91MFA/H&S took her first class in 1983, 
followed by one class each semester for 
seven years, until she received her degree. 
The slow boat to commitment. But now 
she is totally immersed in writing, having 
quit her job as a social worker. 

To illustrate one of the key reasons 
why poets do what they do, Levis cites 
William Carlos Williams who once 
wrote, "It is difficult to get the news from 
poems yet men die miserably every day 
for lack of what is found there." 

Wliyjoin an MFA program in creative 
writing? 

LEVIS: "In our country, MFA programs 
have been becoming enormously impor- 
tant in this sense because there are now 
places where young writers can go and 
find other writers and share energy and 
get some guidance with an actual living 
writer or poet who's teaching there... I 
think if you look now at novelists or 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



8 



poets who are doing interesting work in 
this country, who are being well pub- 
lished, well reviewed, I suspect that at 
least two-thirds of them have been in, at 
one point in their lives, in a writing 
program. In the early '60s, it was fashion- 
able to say, 'I was a longshoreman or a 
wildcatter and so forth,' and maybe those 
people all were, but I think those people 
also took workshops at Stanford and San 
Francisco State." 

DONOVAN: "A great number of 
students are people who have had careers 
before. A great number have been jour- 
nalists, many people like Jeannette have 
already had full lives before they ever 
come into the MFA program. It's not 
really a place for hothouse flowers. 

"When I was out at the University of 
Utah, (poet) Diane Wakoski came to 
visit and she pompously and self-right- 
eously said we should all go out and get 
jobs as garbage workers or something. 
She was talking to a farmwife, a Vietnam 
veteran, myself who was a construction 
worker/housepainter. AUof us in there 
had done all those things, and we wanted 
to be in the MFA program." 

LEVIS: "I think that workshops have 
always gone on. You might think of Ezra 
Pound showing Ford Madox Ford some 
of his poems. Ford Madox Ford found 
the poems so antique, so absolutely 
unmodern, so ridiculous that he roUed 
off the couch and rolled around on the 
floor of his apartment in gales of laughter 
at Pound's early work. Pound said, 'that 
laughter saved me two years of work in 
the wrong direction.' Whether it's insti- 
tutionalized or not, that's a poetry 
workshop. 

"Unlike in France, if you're a poet, 
wherever you are, you go to Paris. And 
you meet people in cafes and someone 
might like your work and you get a 
sinecure in an art museum, something to 
tide you over... Our country's too big 
and I think that's why you have the pro- 
liferation of writing programs... I don't 
think there is a poetry mecca, and I don't 
think there is a capital of the world — 
anymore." 

DONOVAN: "It's diffuse. There are 
plenty of centers where you can go and 



you know there will be plenty of poets 
around." 

DRAKE: "I Lived in California a couple 
of years ago and I happened to be in a 
litde cafe in Berkeley and they were 
having a poetry reading, and I said, 'Oh, 
I'm from Virginia. I just happen to have 
some poems.' And it was OK. They 
accepted me as if I Hved around the 
corner. I think Greg is right. There are 
many pockets where a poet can find a 
place to be." 

DONOVAN: "I think most of our 
students — and I certainly felt this way 
about being in a writing program 
myself — they go to those places because 
they feel that the rest of the world thinks 
they're mighty strange and in some sense 
inexplicable. In a writing program they 
not only make sense but they're chal- 
lenged to be better. That's what they 
want above all." 

Didn't generations of American writers 
prosper without MFA degrees? 

LEVIS: "Hemingway learned to write by 
being a journalist..." 

DONOVAN: "And talking to Gertrude 
Stein." 

LEVIS: "And talking to Gertrude Stein, 
Fitzgerald and Pound and other people. 
You know, the Utde workshop over in 
Paris. But that was a different time, it 
seems to me, when Lawrence could go to 
Italy or Mexico and simply live there." 

DRAKE: "I think one of the things that 
happens, if you go to an MFA program 
and you're working with other people, 
what you're doing becomes validated. 
That's the most important thing that 
could happen. If you don't workshop 
with someone, you could sit in the 
comer and continue to write for 50 years 
and never have anywhere to publish, but 
you need to share with people who know 
more than you do." 

DONOVAN: "This program, as 
opposed to some other places, has a tra- 
dition, which the students developed 
themselves, but also it's not by accident. 




Larry Levis 




Jeannette Drake 




Greg Donovan 



9 



SUMMER 1994 



VCU WRITES! 

Books and prizes of faculty, alumni and 
students of VCU's MFA Program in 
Creative Writing 

POETRY 

Greg Donovan Calling His Children Home — 
winner of 1993 Devins Award. 

Jeannette Drake '76MSW/SW 
'91MFA/H8iS Poems in The Southern 
Review. New Virginia Review, Callalo, 
Obsidian. Writing awards from Virginia 
Commission on the Arts 1 992, 1 993. 

Larn/ Levis Black Freckles, The Widening 
Spell of the Leaves, The Dollmaker's Ghost, 
The Afterlife, The Wrecking Crew. Senior 
Fulbright, Yugoslavia 1988; U.S. Award, 
International Poetry Forum 1971; others. 

Elizabeth Seydel Morgan '86MFA/H&S 

The Governor of Desire, Parties. Emily Clark 
Balch Award 1991. 

Gary Sange Sudden Around the Bend. 

Ron Smith '85MFA/H&S Running Again in 
Hollywood Cemetery. 

FICTION 

Dennis Danvers '89MFA/H&S Wilderness. 

Tom De Haven * The Last Human, * The End- 
of-Everything Man, Pixie Meat (with Gary 
Panter and Charles Burns), 'Walker of 
Worlds, Sunburn Lake, Joe Gosh, U.S.S.A., 
Funny Papers, Jersey Luck, Freaks' Amour. 
•Translations in five languages. 

Stephen Fleming '86MFA/H81S The Exile of 
Sergeant Nen. 

PLAYS, 
SCRIPTS 

Tom De Haven Film scripts: Jersey Luck, 
Kaduna Memories, Graphic Novel Scripts: 
Nightmare Alley. Goldfish, Neuromancer 
(adapted from William Gibson's work); also 
TV animation and an interactive fiction 
computer game. 

Lydia Stryk The Music Hall, Monte Carlo, 
Mercy, The Secret Journal of Desiree Von 
Wertheimsten, The Fine Things in Life. 
Finalist for the Kennedy Center Prize. 

Two MFA students won national awards 
from the Associated Writing Programs in 
1993. Louis Abbey's poem, "The Little 
Goat — Jean Bertrand Ahstide" and Mary Lou 
Hall's story "Luna" won Introd Journals 
Awards which include publication. 

— M.E. M. 



Students are primarily supportive of each 
others' work. The cutthroat competitive- 
ness model exists in other places, built 
into the structure, but we did not bmld 
that into the structure of VCU's 
program.. .Teachers and students recog- 
nize each person is developing as they 
must, and that can't be predicted or 
forced. The competition happens before 
they get here." 

DRAKE: "There'salot of support. I've 
always found there was a lot of support." 

If there were none of the obscure Uttle 
hterary magazmes dotting the country, 
where would the venue of poetry be?" 

DONOVAN: "There wouldn't be one." 

DRAKE: "Well, I think people would go 
out on the street comers and recite." 

LEVIS: "Absolutely, I think they would. 
Most of it would happen in a situation 
like Sammisdat, like you have in Poland, 
where people are mimeographing poems 
and passing them around to each other. 
In the kind of situation where you have 
people composing rap music, rap songs 
as they walk down the street. Because the 
impulse toward poetry is very deep. It's 
in all cultures and it's very old. If you 
don't have access to poetry in the printed 
medium, then the culture wiU still find a 
wayto express it." 

DRAKE: I heard Alan Ginsburg say the 
other night on TV that there was a resur- 
gence of poetry readings. And that seems 
to me that it's also related to what Maya 
Angelo said when Charlie Rose asked her 
about the most important words of her 
inauguration poem for Clinton. She said 
those two words were 'good morning,' 
and it has to do with people reconnect- 
ing. So even if we have the Information 
Superhighway whatever, I think that 
Larry is right that people will find 
pockets where they can go and read to 
each other. People need to connect." 

What are readings hkeforyou? 

DRAKE: "I love reading." 



DONOVAN: "It's a way to have a very 
unusual opportunity to get an immedi- 
ate response to the things you're doing. 
By and large, audiences for poetry are 
made up primarily by people who care a 
lot about it. So, when you deliver a 
clunker line, you usually feel the silence. 
And when you deliver an extraordinary 
line, you sense that there's an energized 
quality to the people." 

LEVIS: "I think it's important, and I 
think there's a certain element of risk, of 
emotional risk. You're standing up there 
reading about you believe in. And you 
also leam a great deal about your ovm 
work because you can hear it when that 
note is flat and, oh, that's not making it. 

...You know that old Hemingway 
quote, "this thing with the buUs is 
serious.' Well so is this thing with the 
poems." 

ANNETTE OVERTON MCGRATH IS AN 
ASSISTANT EDITOR WITH RICHMONDS 
STYLE WEEKLY AND A FREELANCE 
WRITER THIS ARTICLE FIRST 
APPEARED AS PART OF HER COVER 
STORY ON THE MFA PROGRAM IN 
STYLE. MARCH 1, 1994, THE STORY 
ALSO FEATURED ALUMNA ELIZABETH 
SEYDEL MORGAN 'SeMFA/HSiS. 

PHOTOS OF LARRY LEVIS, JEANNETTE 
DRAKE, AND GREG DONOVAN BY JAY 
PAUL 'SBBGS/NTS 'SSMFA/A REPRINT- 
ED FROM STYLE WEEKLY. 



This is just to say .. . 

Attention, MFA alumni interested in 
creative writing and creative ftmding. 
Greg Donovan is working wdth some 
current students and alumni to develop 
an alumni and friends newsletter for the 
program. The group is also fimdraising 
to create an endowment for the program 
to bring outstanding writers to VCU for 
readings and workshops. As the fund 
grows, they hope to give students finan- 
cial support as well. Interested? Contact 
Greg Donovan at (804) 828-1331; email: 
gdonovan@hibbs.vcu.edu; or VCU 
English Department P.O.Box 842005, 
Richmond VA 23284-2005. 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



10 




1 ^ ! I 

BY JOHN SARVAY 



r—r~ f- 




Ask Dr. Henry McGee why he left one 
of the best engineermg schools m the 
country after 23 years to start fi'om 
scratch at a university with no reputation 
for engineering, and 
you'll get an earful. 
McGee joined VCU 
in January as associ- 
ate provost for the 
new School of 
Engineering. He 
could talk all day 
about the possibili- 
ties he envisions for 
the school. 

For starters, he 
explains that "engi- 
neering education 
over the last few 
decades has become 
intensely mathe- 
matical and analytical in tone. It is my 
intention at VCU to attempt to balance 
that with a stronger orientation toward 
synthesis, creativity and imagination." 
And, the far-seeing McGee spots a 
unique opportunity in Central Virginia 
for VCU. "Certainly, our niche will 



depend on the milieu in which we find 
ourselves. So we will build strong rela- 
tionships with the medical and biomed- 
ical components of the university. And it 
is my goal that the new School of Engi- 
neering relate closely to the Richmond 
business and industrial community." 

These connections, McGee says, will 
distinguish VCU Irom Virginia Tech — 
whose engineering program is consis- 
tently ranked among the nation's best. 
"Those sorts of relationships do not exist 
in Blacksburg," he says. McGee stresses 
that the relationship with Virginia Tech 
will be important for both institutions. 
Because of its reputation, Tech will be an 
important name to be linked with when 
VCU recruits new faculty. 

VCU and Virginia Tech are working 
together closely to develop the new 
school as McGee begins to shape the cur- 
riculum and mission. In discussions with 
Tech colleagues, a rough sketch of para- 
meters has already emerged. About 40 
faculty wtU teach and do research in a 
building of 80,000 square feet. VCU's 
school will feature programs in electrical 
engineering, mechanical engineering and 



11 



SUMMER 1994 



chemical engineering — ^but with some 
creative additions. 

"Engineering curricula are frequently 
seen as straitjackets, " McGee says. Often 
heavy on traditional subject areas, the 
curriculum sometimes give short shrift 
to electives, especially in specialized areas 
that would serve the student's profes- 
sional needs — such as medicine, business 
or law. "It's very common for people 
who graduate in engineering to fiarther 
their education in those areas." VCU's 
programs are taking shape to integrate 
other disciplines along the way. "For 
example, we know that VCU's faculty in 
medical sciences such as physiology and 
pharmacology wiU be involved in the 
school." 

A chemical engineer, McGee has held 
a visiting position at the National Science 
Foundation (NSF) for the past three 
years. As head of the Chemical and 
Transport Systems Division, he was 
responsible for developing research 
policies and identifying new scientific 
initiatives for eight programs with a 
budget of about $35 million. Before that, 
McGee taught chemical engineering at 
Virginia Tech for 23 years, including 10 
years as department chair. 

"This is just a fantastic opportunity — 
it's almost a unique event in American 
higher education — to start a new school 
of engineering in an already-existing uni- 
versity with great strengths and linked to 
one of the finest engineering programs in 
the country." 

JOHN SARVAY •94BGS/NTS IS A FREE- 
LANCE WRITER FORMERLY EDITOR OF 
VCU VOICE AND AN EDITOR OF 
CAFFEINE MAGAZINE- THIS INTERVIEW 
IS AN EDITED REPRINT FROM VCU 
VOICE FEBRUARY 21. 1994 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY DENNIS McWATERS. 




Ill 



NrTTr 



ifr 



BY SANDY BRASILI 



Not everyone knows that VCU's planned School of 
Engineering is not our first. We talked with alumni who 
earned associates degrees at the School of Engineering 
Technology in the 1960s and 70s. ''Dweebie techies" (their 
term) remember practical skills and look down the road 
from Route 66 to the information highway. 



A BACK DOOR 



Computer systems designers often leave 
themselves a"back door" into their 
programs to use in case of emergencies. 
For Gene Adkins '73 AS Electronics 
Technology says it was VCU's engineer- 
ing technology program in the early '70s 
that let him "back into the computer 
door" through electronics. He and a few 
of his colleagues at Virginia Power even 
built a personal computer years ago, long 
before "PC" became part of the vernacu- 
lar. 

Adkins credits his VCU degree with 
"giving me the flexibility to move around 
within the field," he says. "It was broad 
enough that it allowed students to go in 
different directions. The best way to 
describe the program in those days is to 
consider theoretical engineering, which is 
clean and just what the name says — 
theory." He pauses, a smile breaking out. 
"And then there's engineering technolo- 
gy, for people who, so to speak, want to 
get their hands dirty!" 



After VCU, 
Adkins earned an 
electronics degree 
from Old 
Dominion 
University and went 
to work for Virginia 
Power. "My first job 
was to keep your 
circuits from getting 
blown away by a 
storm," he laughs. 

Much of his career, Adkins has 
focused on computer user support. A lot 
of that is simple explanations. "I can 
speak engineering and I can speak 
English. I often fact as a translator." 

Adkins echoes his fellow VCU alums 
and labels computer technology as the 
most expansive development over the 
last 20 years. "I remember when people 
repaired computers," he says. "Now they 
just replace a circuit board and go." 




SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



12 



"NOT THE ONLY GIRL" 



Being one ot a handful of women in 
technical classes full of men was "differ- 
ent," Nancy Estes Berry AS '69 Drafting 
& Design Technology laughs. "At least I 
wasn't the only girl. There were usually 
three or four of us in a class. 

"It wasn't as bad as you might think," 
she continues. "Our program was unique 
but we got to mix with other folks in dif- 
ferent areas of expertise. It was really 
broad-based. We always knew the other 
engineering students because we were 
such a small school compared with other 
departments." 

Berry's a senior transportation 
engineer at the Virginia Department of 
Transportation's Richmond office. After 
1 8 years, she still remembers her first 
assignment. "I started as a drafting tech 
trainee," she says, "working on cross- 
sections on Route 66. Anybody who's 
ever worked for VDOT has worked on 
Route 66," she laughs. 

As she rose through the ranks, she 
became a graphic artist illustrator for the 
public involvement 
section. "I interpret- 
ed highway plans of 
engineers and 
painted them on a 
1 6". X 20" photo- 
graph so laymen 
could see how the 
completed road 
would look." Now 
"I'm more in the 
research and devel- 
opment end of 
things," she says. "It's my job to make 
sure that we comply with all state and 
federal regulations for road design. 

Berry observes that "when I started 
work, out of 200 people in my division, 
about five of us were women. The 
numbers are much larger now. The main 
differences I've seen in the last 20 years in 
this profession? Computers and the 
increasing numbers of women and 
minorities." 




MOFFLE THAT NOISE! 

If you've traveled at all in Virginia, 
you've probably seen Robert Gibson's 
'70 AS Civil & Highway Technology '75 
BS Chemistry handiwork. But not heard 
it. Gibson designs noise walls at the 
Richmond branch of the Virginia 
Department of Transportation (VDOT). 
The environmental planner's efforts are 
easily visible along interstate routes 295, 
64 and 66 among others. He estimates 
that he's been responsible for $40-$50 
mUlion worth of the structures since he 
moved to VDOT's noise division in 1985. 

Currently working toward his PE 
(professional engineer) designation, 
Gibson concedes that he followed an odd 
degree path, zigging from his associate's 
degree in engineering into a BS in chem- 
istry while he worked at VDOT. "I 
figured I'd end up in a lab somewhere," 
he says, "but I liked VDOT, and it looked 
like there would be chances for advance- 
ment, so I just stayed on." Good 
planning. Gibson spent a satisfying 10 
years in the air quality division before 

moving on to 

noise. 

Musing on 

his early train- 
ing compared 

with current 

programs, he 

laughs and 

says, "I started 

out with slide 

rules. Then it 

was calculators. 

And today, 
you're nowhere without a computer." 




COOLHEH,HEH. 



When teachers and students in Henrico 
County classrooms keep their cool, they 
should thank James Penny '72 AS 
Refrigeration & Air Conditioning. He 

builds and maintains heating and 
cooling systems for county schools. 
Penny has worked for the school district 
since receiving his associate's degree in 



refrigeration and air conditioning in 
1972. The MechanicsviUe resident says 
that his training provided him with an 
enjoyable job that lets him travel from 
place to place — or school to school. 
However, he still wishes his program had 
been four years instead of two. 

"This field is nothing hke it was when 
I first entered it," Penny says. "Now 
energy management is all done by com- 
puters. Today, technicians had better be 
able to write the program that will tell the 
computer how to regulate a building's 
heating and cooling systems." Govern- 
ment regulation of chlorofluorocarbons 
(CFCs) is another complication. "Tech- 
nicians need to know the laws exactly. 
Now you're learning one thing after 
another," he says. 

Penny speaks warmly of his VCU 
training. "I t gave me the knowledge to 
act as a go-between for an engineer and a 
mechanical contractor. I can read the 
specs and know what the engineer wants, 
but I can also explain it to the layman. 

For example, 

if an owner is 

remodeling a 

building and 

wants the 

most efficient 

heating and 

cooling 

system avail- 
able, an 

engineer can 

select it. But 

when the 

owner starts questioning the blueprint, I 
can explain it in a language he'U under- 
stand." 

"I'm proud of the program I had," he 
sums up. 

SANDY BRASILI IS A FREELANCE 
WRITER WHO WAS RECENTLY A VCU 
NEWS SERVICES SPECIALIST, 




13 



SUMMER 1994 



■u 






%. 




//. 






W 






IV-.:. 



l\( 



s^ 14 



fc^. 




Imagine being able to talk 
to your computer (not just 
yell at it when the hard drive 
crashes) and have it recognize your 
voice when you give it commands. Think 
of storing files and receiving faxes strictly on 
your computer system and never having a piece of 
paper pass through your hands. Consider accessing data 
through a small, powerful desktop personal computer and pulling up both visual images 
Hke photographs, and text that you can manipulate at will. Envision attending a confer- 
ence with your colleagues in Australia without ever leaving your office. 

These are not scenes firom a science fiction movie — the technology exists today 
along the Information Super Highway. The key for most of us is a driving instructor who 
can teach us how not to get blind-sided merging into traffic. 

Many School of Business alumni are helping businesses keep up with traffic on the 
new highway — the pace can be intimidating. And the first part of the job is making people 
aware of just how far information technology has come — and can go. — > 



15 



SUMMER 1994 



"I like to use the analogy of the 
Jetsons," says Tom Mountcastle '75AS 
'81BS/B, an Alumni Star for 1993 . He is 
president of CMS Automation, a systems 
integration company serving the East 
Coast. They provide complete turnkey 
solutions including hardware, software, 
customized end-user training, installa- 
tion and follow-up support. "As the 
years have passed, the technology has 
closely rivaled the cartoon and it's no 




Tom Mountcastle 

longer futuristic. The Information Super 
Highway is on the horizon. The technol- 
ogy is already out there, people just don't 
know it. As the communications 
backbone matures, everyone 
will be able to tie into it." 

That's how companies like 
Mountcasde's are changing the face of 
business in the United States and abroad. 
Many businesses know they need to 
change their processes and systems to 
remain competitive in today's global 
marketplace. But how do they do it? 
What do they want to do with an infor- 
mation system? How will they commu- 
nicate with clients? Do they want to be 
able to network with branches in 
Europe? Do they have to redesign 
existing systems? 

Businesses that need help v«th these 
kinds of questions often turn to informa- 



tion technology consultants. These are 
the experts who can take a business's 
information or process wish list and 
make it reality. 

"The market today is driven by end- 
users," says Mountcastle. "Their needs 
are diverse. You must sit down and talk 
with them to understand their needs, 
understand how their business operates." 

James Phlegar Jr '77MBA '81 
Accounting, a partner with the informa- 
tion technology consulting firm of Ernst 
& Young, has a similar philosophy. 

"We provide clients vn\h solutions to 
business problems, solutions that usually 
include process re-engineering. We use 
information systems as and enabling 
technology to improve practices. This is 
designed to give the client a competitive 
advantage." 




James Plilvgar Ir 

Phlegar's focus is the marriage of 
technology and redesign in business 
systems. "I want to make sure the infor- 
mation technology direction is properly 
aligned with the business's strategies. 
Part of the secret of information technol- 
ogy utilization is the continued analysis 
of a company's business needs and 
processes. We help them analyze present 
and future needs, and develop the proper 
systems, technology infrastructure and 
processes to reach their goals." 



One solution Ernst and Young 
devised is a sophisticated revenue opti- 
mization system. The computer provides 
salespeople with current information 
about contracts with suppliers (which 
change firequently). Sales agents can serve 
customers more effectively because they 
know which suppliers can handle which 
products, in what quantities, and how 
fast. 

Not incidentally, this makes a big dif- 




Glenii Davis 

ference in company profits. "This is 
where the value of an information 
system is." Phlegar says. "When you 
drive a system into sales or management 
processes, there's an opportunity for a 
significant effect on the company." 

The goals for each business vary as 
much as the type of business. Informa- 
tion technology consultants help busi- 
nesses as large as Fortune 500 companies 
and as small as two-person operations. 

Some businesses rely on people like 
Glenn Davis '86BS/B. He is a computer 
consultant with Broughton Systems, Inc., 
a company that provides short-term and 
long-term consultants to support busi- 
nesses in Central Virginia. Broughton 
Systems specializes in management con- 
sulting, business needs analysis, applica- 
tion product selection and development 
of custom software. 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



16 



Davis works with a business, some- 
times for a year or more, providing 
services ranging from designing systems 
to implementing their use. Davis is often 
called in when a business needs someone 
in-house with specialized skills who can 
respond rapidly to a change in business 
conditions. 

"Information technology is facing 
changes every day," says Davis, former 
president of the Data Processing 
Management Association. "That's what 
makes the job interesting. And every 
company is different. Some want to 
streamline, others want to increase 
profits. I let the companies describe the 
changes they need and then develop a 
plan geared toward achieving their goals. 
Other companies know exactly what they 
want and thev need someone with the 





Jim Clements 

skills to produce it for them." 

Jim Clements '80 MS/B is director of 
software development with USConnect, 
a systems integration firm in New York 
City. He helps businesses analyze their 
needs and then designs computer 
networks to best support the informa- 
tion flow. 

One of the general trends that he sees 
many businesses following is moving 
some of their applications from main- 
frame computers to networks of smaller, 



midrange and personal computers. This 
is called "right-sizing." 

"Client/ server computing allows users 
on a network to use their personal com- 
puters to retrieve information that is 
'served' to them by more powerful, 
lower-cost midrange computers," 
Clements explains. "With midrange 
computers, processors can be added as 
processing loads increase. Client process- 
ing, such as word processing or graphics 





Wm^ 


^^^^^m 



Dick Nelson 

functions, is all kept in an environment 
familiar to the user. Clients can use their 
own personal preferences in equipment, 
and the tools they're most familiar 
with — some may use Apple PC's, others 
may use IBM-compatible PC's." 

With these more powerftil midsized 
computers, capabilities go far beyond 
the convenience of "user- friendly." 
Businesses wiU incorporate the new 
technology in many ways. 

"One application is mixing text and 
image information," says Clements. 
"Personnel files may soon be more useful 
because they can store photographs 
along with name and address. Or the 
facilities management division at VCU 
could puU up architectural renderings of 
a building they're planning to work on." 

Dick Nelson '65 BS/B is president of 
NELCO, Ltd. He's worked in various 



ISRI: ACCESS RAMPS 

There is service at VCU's School of Business 
that can help make it easier for Richmond 
businesses to move along with the flow of 
the Information Super Highway. The 
Information Systems Research Institute 
(ISRI), directed by Dr. A. James Wynne, 
provides a variety of services to the 
members of its Corporate Associates 
Program. There's continuing professional 
education, consulting and technical assis- 
tance, research and technology 
development. 

Members can take advantage of an 
extensive library of training tapes, periodic 
seminars and workshops, database design 
and development, multimedia work stations 
with video, sound, CD-ROM and touch 
screen capabilities, and access to communi- 
cation networks for joint research project 
development. 

The ISRI strives to meet the needs of its 
members with specialized projects, and at 
least 23 companies in the Richmond area 
have joined the Corporate Associates 
Program to support activities and services. 

Many of their activities are also aimed at 
students. There's student/business employ- 
ment assistance, doctoral dissertation coop- 
erative projects with corporate members and 
support for student internship programs. 

Alumni credit their education at VCU and 
the work of Dr. Wynne for helping them 
reach their own career goals. 

"VCU equipped me to be flexible," says 
Davis. "They teach the curriculum as well as 
how to react in business situations." 

"Working with people on Wall Street is a 
demanding environment," says Clements. "I 
work with someone who went to MIT and a 
Rhodes Scholar. My education from VCU 
stands up to them all." 

Interested? Does your business need an on- 
ramp? Contact Jim Wynne at 1804) 828-3182. 
Email: ab06ajw@vcum 7 . ucc. vcu- edu. 



17 



SUMMER 1994 



aspects of computer technology from 
marketing to consulting. He's also 
impressed with new business applica- 
tions that are practical now that the tech- 
nology has made them possible. 

"It's exciting to see companies 
restructuring how they handle paper," 
says Nelson. "All forms of paperwork, 
including data as well as images, can be 
distributed electronically through 
computer networks. What was once a 
manual paper flow process can now be 
done through desktop computers. It will 
reduce the use of paper, the storage of 
paper and all that entails. 

"If a person is looking at particular 
information, it can also be available to 
other people within the same organiza- 
tion simultaneously. You can't do that 
with paper files. People can be much 
more productive." 

But even with product enhancement 
and new chip technology bringing the 
cost down and putting more powerful 
machines on the desk top, equipment 
purchases can be prohibitive for some 
businesses. That's where Nelson's 
company comes in. NELCO, Ltd. leases 
computers and other high technology 
equipment to businesses. 

"Seventy-five percent of computer 
equipment acquired today by businesses 
is leased," says Nelson. "Leasing allows 
businesses to get the technology they 



need when they need it and not let own- 
ership restrict their flexibility. Leasing 
also allows businesses to more efficiently 
utilize their capital to finance their 
grovrth." 

Still, the most sophisticated applica- 
tions and custom software are only tools. 
These companies that specialize in infor- 
mation technology understand that it 
takes people to operate the machines. 
They offer user training for the business- 
es they help. 

"People are usually concerned by 
changes in systems or processes," says 
Phlegar. "We believe there should be a 
confluence of people, process and tech- 
nology. If you don't prepare the people, 
change isn't going to work." 

"I often talk to a lot of users when I'm 
developing a system," says Davis. 
"They're the people who are going to be 
using the systems and we need to 
consider the basics of what they want. 
Some are resistant to change, but usually 
at the end they will say their job is a lot 
easier." 

There are numerous advantages to 
cruising on the Information Super 
Highway. With streamlining, increasing 
profits, decreasing paper, boosting pro- 
ductivity, and plugging into an emerging 
global network (among other benefits), 
it's easy to see why companies are eager 
to make sure they don't get left in the 



parking lot. And this new technology 
also benefits the individual user who may 
be able to work at home. 

"Since we're moving away from cen- 
tralized processing," says Mountcastle, 
"individual users will have so much 
more power. In a city like Los Angeles, 
where half your workday is spent getting 
to the office, information technology 
could take cars off the road and let 
people get more work done. We're 
moving rapidly toward a remote work- 
force armed with the mobile office. This 
will change the way business is done." 

And Mountcastle also admits he's still 
waiting for George letson's flying car. 

LINDA MILLS IS A RICHMOND FREE- 
LANCER. SHE WROTE THIS ARTICLE ON 
AN "ANCIENT IBM CLONE" IN WORD 
PERFECT 5 WE TRANSLATED HER 
DISK FOR OUR MACS IN MICROSOFT 
WORD 5,1 AND THEN DESIGNED THE 
FEATURE IN QUARKXPRESS. 

ILLUSTRATION BY KERRY TALBOT 
'88BFA/A 

PHOTOS OF THOMAS MOUNTCASTLE 
AND DICK NELSON BY JAY PAUL 
■85BGS/NTS 'SSMFA/A. 

PHOTO OF GLENN DAVIS AND JAMES 
PHLEGAR BY ACTION PHOTO CO., INC. 



VCU ONLINE 

As a busy urban campus and teaching hospital, VCU didn't just grow 
through the seventies and eighties — it multiplied. So did the main- 
frames and PCs. Sometimes, "you |ust couldn't get there from here," 
even between departments on the same campus. 

All that is changing, fast. For the first time, the university will have 
an total, integrated system through fiber-optic cable. MCV Campus 
and Hospitals are already wired. By the end of June, cable will link 
Academic Campus buildings. VCU and MCV Hospitals are investing in 
the technology for the two campuses, and Bell Atlantic provides the 
link between campuses for $1 a year. By June 1995, wiring in 250 
dorm rooms will connect students to the backbone network, paid for 
from student affairs money. 

According to VCU's Tim Farnham, the new system "can exchange 
information nonstop 24 hours a day, seven days a week for students, 
faculty, administration, health professionals and patients. The cable 
can earn/ voice, video and data — including complex images like MRI 
scans, molecular modeling and multi-media instruction. Hospital 
departments are sending patient x-rays and MRIs now." 

For those who follow tech-speak, the network is compatible with 
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) the international industn/ 



standard for high-speed Local Area Networks (LANs). One or more 
bundles of 24-48 fibers make up each conduit segment. The FDDI 
structure of dual, counter-rotating rings builds in a "self-healing" 
element to preserve the network if any link or pathway fails. 

For now, a network "ring" of two fibers is carr/ing data at 100 
megabits (millions of bits) per second. Up to 1 1 more "rings" could 
be added as needed. The system is also set up to accommodate 
added high-speed ATM technology — which handles at the low end 
up to 1 55 megabits per second. "At the high end, more than 1 .2 
gigabits (billions of bits), ten times faster than FDDI," says Farnham. 
And sending images will require high speeds. "For instance, tele- 
phone voices," Farnham points out, take only 32 thousands bits per 
second; video images take up a whopping 32 millions bits per second. 
"That can bring a system to its knees." Obviously, upgrade we must, 
as we go. 

The best part is that though upgrades do require more cable, it 
can be done through what Farnham calls "a reusable hole." No need 
to dig up the street again; just pull more fiber through the conduit. 
"This system is planned to last VCU at least 25 years." 

— M E M. 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



18 



Physicists are 

finding that they 

can do great 

things with small 

clusters. These 

groups of 2 to 

2000 atoms have 

astonishing 

properties with 

implications for 

materials science, 

nuclear physics, 

chemistry, atoms 

and crystals. 

VCU physicist 

Dr. Puru Jena 

seems to take 

inspiration from 

his field. From a 

department with 

neither a PhD 

program (as yet) 

nor related 

experimental 

projects, Jena 

and a "small cluster" of colleagues 

continue to generate theoretical work 

with international multidiscipKnary 

impact. 

Since 1985, Jena has brought $2 
mUlion in grants to VCU and directed 
five international conferences on micro- 
clusters, finite systems and hydrogen in 
metals. He has published more than 160 
papers and four books — usually working 
with colleagues and students, at VCU 
and around the world. His colleagues at 
VCU named Jena the university's 
Distinguished Scholar for 1987, and he 
was presented with VCU's highest faculty 
honor, the Award of Excellence, in 1992. 

Fellow scientists from Johns Hopkins 
University to Tohoku University in 
Japan rely on his theoretical predictions 
to suggest directions for their own exper- 
imental work. Many of his and the 
department's publications are in rapid 
communications journals; he and 
departmental colleagues Drs. Rao and 
Khanna are at the forefront of a rapidly 
evolving field. Carter White of the Naval 
Research laboratory points to their "pio- 
neering studies on the electronic struc- 
ture, topology, fragmentation and 



SMALL 

CLUSTERS 




BY MARY ELLEN MERCER AND JILL BAUGHAN 




magnetic properties of clusters." People 
want to know, now, what the VCU 
group is doing. 

How does it happen, this "ability to 
make important intellectual leaps," as 
Samuel Myers of Sandia National 
Laboratories puts it? Jena says he wants 
to share with his students "the joy of 



i ■'*-<«fc.^ seeking new 

**?*« - ways to explain 

old things, 
searching for the 
answers to 
puzzling ques- 
tions, and won- 
dering about 
things no one 
has thought 
before." 

Again, he is 
inspired by these 
tiny machines, 
microclusters. 
Move some 
clusters from two 
dimensions to 
three, and they 
suddenly 
become 
magnetic. Or 
add an element. 
One carbon 
atom added at 
the core of a volatile 12-atom aluminum 
cluster makes it stable — and able to 
interlock wAh other clusters to form new 
materials. When Jena applied cluster 
methods to describe the quantum- 
mechanical states of hydrogen atoms, he 
opened a new field. Try new combina- 
tions — of disciplines or searching 
minds — and those leaps happen. 

The biennial "Richmond conference" 
in finite systems research, sponsored by 
VCU, is a good example of Jena's orga- 
nizing skill and deep understanding 
across several fields. It immediately 
became an international must, a 
dynamic workshop that brought 
researchers together to trade and test 
concepts and information. 

Jena likes putting people and 
resources together to watch the interac- 
tion. "No university on earth," he says, 
"has aU the experts needed to go from 
ground zero to seventh heaven." Not 
alone. So he helped develop the Research 
Center for the Study of Finite Systems 
which brings together experts from 34 
institutions in physics, chemistry, 
material science and engineering. And, 
naturally, his colleagues appointed him 



19 



SUMMER 1994 



their first director. Now, the groups at 
VCU, Johns Hopkins and Perm State are 
working on a proposal to the National 
Science Foundation to set up a center to 
experiment with bulk production of 
clusters. 

Jena's personal magnetic properties 
attract fellow scientists and students 
alike. Professor Bing-lin Gu, director of 
physics at Tsinghua University at Beijing, 
calls Jena "a one-man multinational cor- 
poration." And United Nations, one 
could add, considering his compassion- 
ate support of young scholars in 
Richmond and around the world. 

In the classroom, Jena says, "I like the 
sparks in students' eyes when they 
imderstand something. And he learns a 
lot himself. "If you just smdy a book, you 
can fool yourself, thinking you under- 
stood it. But when you stand up in a class 
to explain things to people who will chal- 
lenge your every word, then you really 
learn the material. I find research and 
teaching quite complementary." 

The sparks continue to fly. Currently, 
Jena is chairman of the Gordon Research 
Conference, a series held every summer 
in New England; he is on the review 
board of the Swedish Consortium on 
Cluster Science; and he was recently 
appointed scientific editor for the Oxford 
University Press. 

He's a busy man, and it looks as 
though he'U stay that way, since he is also 
looking forward to the next Richmond 
conference to be held in 1995. But Jena 
thrives on this kind of excitement, and 
the opportunities he has to share it. "I 
have been quite lucky, coming into the 
field in the mid- 1980's just as it was 
about to take off. Much of what we had 
theorized since 1985 is now being proved 
experimentally. Our predictions are 
being verified one after another. 

"It's a lot of firn, actually," he says. "If 
it was work, I probably wouldn't do it," 
he laughs. "Work for the sake of work is 
boring." 

JILL BAUGHAN IS A RICHMOND FREE- 
LANCE WRITER AND VCU ADJUNCT 
INSTRUCTOR IN ENGLISH, MARY ELLEN 
MERCER IS EDITOR OF SHAFER COURT 
CONNECTIONS, 

PHOTO BY KEVIN SCHINDLER 'SSBFA/A 



JENA'S STUDENTS: 
SPARKING INTEREST 

In 1984, Feng Liu '90 PhD/H&S listened 
to Puru Jena lecture on small clusters at 
Tsinghua University in Beijing, Liu was so 
impressed by what he heard, he applied to 
VCU, hoping to earn his PhD under Jena's 
direction. 

He wasn't disappointed. By then, Jena 
had helped establish VCU's PhD in chemical 
physics with the chemistry department. 

" Dr. Jena, " he says, "was one of the 
best advisors and teachers I have ever had. 
The high standard he sets for his students 
has definitely brought me to a new level." 
Even as a student, Liu coauthored 13 publica- 
tions, won the Physics Academic Excellence 
Graduate Award, and earned his degree. 

Now Liu is a research associate at Oal< 
Ridge National Laboratory, using the parallel 
supercomputer (the largest in the world) to 
explore the structure and electronics proper- 
ties of solid state materials. Part of his 
research is the study of impurities in semi- 
conductors (materials which don't conduct 
current easily) to see how the function of 
semi-conducting devices can be improved by 
controlling those impurities. Ultimately, his 
work will result in more efficient microcir- 
cuits in everything from cordless phones to 
jumbo jets. 

Challenging, yes, but Liu is up to it. For 
this he thanks the man who taught him not 
only the knowledge of physics, but also the 
ways of a good physicist. "For all my 
achievements, I am deeply in debt to 
Professor Jena for his kind interest, encour- 
agement and assistance. Just like an old 
Chinese Proverb says, 'The better the 
master, the better the pupil.'" 

David Hagan '85BS/ H&S wants to 
convince you that studying science isn't just 
for weird geeks with plastic pocket protec- 
tors. 

Hagan was a lawyer moving toward 
patent law when he took a physics class with 
Jena. The experience was so fascinating, he 
stayed in the field. He started working at the 
Science Museum of Virginia as a staff scien- 
tist, developing large interactive galleries in 
physics and aerospace. Now his job is to 



bring to the museum programs that are fun 
and funny, programs that will appeal to every 
age and interest level, from preschooler to 
engineer. Whether visitors wander through a 
land of giant robotic dinosaurs, view a solar 
eclipse or listen to an expert talk about 
science frauds and astrology, Hagan wants to 
make sure that, while they learn, they're 
having a great time. 

He also makes sure that the museum's 
influence transcends its walls by offering pro- 
grams for area schools, and collaborating 
with VCU on projects that promote excel- 
lence in teaching science. 

Jena, Hagan remembers vividly, 
"expected a certain dedication, and a high 
level of respect for the process of teaching. 
His own dedication and personal warmth — 
and his great sense of humor — were a real 
inspiration to me. Now I'm working to bring 
science as a way of learning and knowing to 
everybody we can possibly touch. It's been 
tremendously fulfilling to me, and it was Puru 
Jena who started it all." 

Jena's classroom rapport includes even/one. 
Dr. Karin Kuroski'91BS/H&S should know. 
She was a chemistry major taking her 
physics requirement when she met Jena. 
She learned quickly that "his door was 
always open, whether you wanted to talk 
about school or anything else." He was also 
"the best teacher I ever had," she says. 
"Interesting, knowledgeable, meticulous and 
organized." 

Now a busy resident in family practice, 
Kurowski is also the mother of one child (and 
one on the way), wife of one husband. 
Juggling the personal and professional while 
she was in school was a tough job too, but 
one made easier because of her regard for 
Jena. "He was always available and con- 
cerned." 

He still is. "In fact, when I had major 
surgery one summer in Sweden, Dr. Jena 
was in a conference in Finland and made it a 
point to come over to see me. I count him as 
one of my best friends," she says. "He's in 
our night prayers every evening." 

JILL BAUGHAN 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



20 



THE 




THEN 

1991-Fall 1993 



• School of 
Engineering feasi- 
bility study: regional 
need identified. 



• Nine interdiscipli- 
nary centers will be 
established to foster 
research, teaching 
and service across 
schools, depart- 
ments and both 
campuses. To focus 
VCU strengths in 
Public Policy, 
Environmental 
Studies, Drug and 
Alcohol studies, 
AIDS/HIV Studies, 
Neuroscience, 
Cardiovascular 
Studies. Oncology. 
Transplantation, 
Primary Care. 



• Information tech- 
nology — problem of 
haphazard links, 
weak overall 
planning. 






• KeepVCU's 

research capacity 

growing. 



• Plan approved 

September 1993; 

accountability built in 

through twice-yearly 

reports to the 

Provost and Council 

of Advisors. Fully 

implemented by 

September 1999. 



10.5 million 
endowment funds 
raised: Dr. Henry 
McGee appointed 
associate provost: 
" mini-engineering 
school" held in 
May. 



• Center for 
AIDS/HIV Studies 
set up December 
1993, Dr. Lisa 
Kaplowitz, director. 
Center for Public 
Policy established 
July 1994. Dr. 
Robert Holsworth 
director. 





• Fiber optic cable 
connects all build- 
ings on both 
campuses and MCV 
Hospitals: libraries 
acquire important 
databases: vice 
provost for informa- 
tion technology hired 
July 1. 



• VCU named one of 
88 "Research 
Universities-I" in 
Carnegie Report, 
which puts us at the 
top level for funding. 
Virginia Biotech- 
nology Research 
Park groundbreaking 
May 17. 1994. 



• By July 1, several 
major changes in 
place. 



RSITY 

VCU 'S STRATEGIC PLAN 

BY PENNY JEZ AND IVl A R Y ELLEN MERCER 

It's a VCU tradition to interface with the city. The symbol of this universi- 
ty is not the cool, aloof ivory tower, but the rambunctious energy of 
Shafer Court. On both campuses, student and faculty use the urban 
setting as a teaching and research lab. In the process, we respond to com- 
munit)' and business needs — in partnership programs and in the way we 
design students' education. 

These street smarts have come in handy over the past two and a half 
years. Like corporations and universities around the country, VCU has 
responded to a tighter economy, new technologies and changing societal 
needs by refocusing its strengths through a strategic plan. 

Major directions include sharpening undergraduate education; 
increasing public support through community service; using information 
technology effectively in teaching and research; and restructuring 
programs to focus resources on our strongest programs and to develop 
new initiatives that will put our graduates where community needs are — 
and where the jobs wdll be. 

Sounds great, but is it really going to happen? We thought of that. In 
fact, VCU leads its peers vtith a unique accountability plan that monitors 
actual change and reshapes plans that aren't feasible with oversight from a 
university Council of Advisors (which includes faculty, staff and students) 
and implementation from the Provost's office and Academic Planning. 
Very few universities build this into their strategic plans. State education 
officials already praise VCU's efforts as among the most progressive in 
Virginia, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch (May 21, 1994). 
There's nothing "virtual" about our realities. 

So, what are these changes? What does this mean for VCU and my 
school? Glad you asked. To the left is an overview of what's happened 
since the ongoing process began in 1991 and was approved in 
September 1993. 



All right. But what will be happening in my school? We'd like to staple in 
a CD to illustrate this one on video. Like any live organism, VCU is 
adapting to a changing environment by adding here, absorbing there, 
shedding here — becoming more functional. 

Restructuring Schools and Divisions 

Arts 

Expand Dance and Choreography, Communication Arts and Design, 

PhD in Art History. 

Increase resources for Painting and Printmaking. 

Business 

Fast-track MBA program accepts its first class in August 1994. 
• Specific plan to restructure and strengthen programs is now in the 

approval process; details in later issues of Shafer Court. 

Community and Public Ajfairs 

July 1, 1994, the school is absorbed into the university. 

Urban Studies and Planning becomes a department in the college of 
Humanities and Sciences, (continued on page 32} 



21 



SUMMER 1994 




m 

REUNION WEEKEND: 
1: Rodney Pulliam '90 C&PA (right) 
catches up with a friend at the African 
American Ahtmni Council Networking 
Reception ami Art Show and Sale. 
2: Boh Lindholm '50 RPI catches up 
with Laveme Deusebio '51 RPI at the 
RPI Dinner. ■ — ■ 3: Angela Vaughan 

Li 'S2 Business pondering which 

artwork woidd look best on her living 
— rootn wall. Artist vendors, Jonathan 
and Dana Davis '88 BS Communi- 
___cations of Art Awareness. ■~^' 4: VCU 
Alumni Association President, Peggy 
Adams '77 NTS greets Donna 

Knicely '77 Education , her husband, John W. Jordan III '49 RPI and Kathleen Mansfield 
Bullard '41 RPI. ■—-' 5: Kathleen Bullard '41 RPI shares memories from the alumni association's 
early days with Peggy Adams and her other Breakfast Club members. • — • 6: Jo Harvey Snead '43 
RPI, Virginia Delp Ogg '43 RPI, and Betty Berry '42 RPI at the RPI dinner. '-^ 7: Ann Nash 
Love '41 RPI and Jo Harvey Snead '43 RPI were all smiles all weekend long as they shared then 
1941 RPI Wigwam yearbook with friends at the RPI Dinner. '~~-' 8: Class of '44's Class agent, 
Anne Rosenberg Fischer '44. ■ — ■ 9: Peggy Adams inducted this year's 50 Year Alumni Club 
members who were welcomed by current members. From left to right: Ken Rowe '43 RPI. 
"Catherine Murphy Welton '42 RPI, Kathleen Bullard '41 RPI, Ann Nash Love '41 RPI, 
Martha Riis Moore '37 RPI, Peggy Adams, VCUAA President, Louise Peck Dill '39 RPI Mary 
Laurie Smith Cooke '37 RPI, Anne Rosenberg Fischer '44, Lucille Anderson Baber '39 RPI. 
'^~^ 10: Dee Dee Batten '81, '84 C&PA and Rita Mason-Lucas '82 Mass Communications greet 
- one anotlier at the Reunion Weekend Dance. {PHOTO BY CHESTER WOOD) ■ — 'lll/o 

Harvey Snead '43 RPI Ann Nash Love '41 RPL Sands Smith '49 RPL Ken Van Allen '50 RPL 
--ami Virginia Delp Ogg '43 RPI search through an RP! Wigwam for tlieir class pictures. ■~-^ 

12: Distinguished Alumna Peggy Meara '72, '74 Education, Superintendent of Powhatan Public 
--Schools. '~~— ■ 13: Bill Coon '68 Education receives an award for Outstanding Service to the School 

of Education's Alutnni Board from Jean von Schilling '76, '88 Education, President of the School of Education Alumni Board and Sharon 
. Bryant '83 Education, Immediate Past President of that same board. ■ — ■ 14: Emeriti faculty members Dr. Robert and Gladys Fleming at 

the School of Education 30th anniversary celebration. ■^— ' 15: Dean John Oehler awarding a Distinguished Alumni 
award to Germaine Fauntleroy '91 Education, Superintendent of Petersburg Public Schools. ■'~-^ 16: Dean John 

Oehler awarding a Distinguished Alumni 
award to Dr. Henry Rhone '73 Education, 
VCU's Interim Vice Provost for Student 
Affairs. ■ — ' 17: Dean John Oehler awarding a 
Distinguished Alumni award to Carter White 
'74, '80 Education, Acting Deputy 
Superintendent Correctional Education for the 
Commonwealth ofVa. 

PHOTOGRAPHY (EXCEPT WHERE 
NOTED) BY MICHAEL SIMON 





--S-U-M-M-6«--4--9->-) — 




*Member of VCU Alumni 
Association 



1 960s 

Jerry L Copley '69BS 
'78MEd/E is assistant principal at 
Lancaster High School in 
Kilmarnock. He was formerly an 
educational utility specialist with 
Hampton public schools, where 
he provided instruction for 
children with long-term illnesses. 

Grace Harris '60MSW/SW, 
VCU's provost and vice president 
for academic affairs, was elected 
to the board of directors of 
Richfood Holdings Inc., a local 
food distributor. She is the first 
African-American woman to hold 
the position. Also elected was 
Roger Gregory, a former rector at 
VCU. 



Roger Neathawk '61BS/P 

'78MS/B was elected to a three- 
year term on the Easter Seal 
Society of Virginia's board of 
directors. Roger received the 
Peter N. Pastore Award in 1992 
for outstanding contributions to 
individuals with disabilities by the 
Society. He is currently the CEO 
of Marketing Strategies Inc. in 
Richmond, where he lives. 

*Roger Nicholson '68BS/H&S 
has been named director of pro- 
fessional development and doctor 
of ministry studies at Union 
Theological Seminary in 
Richmond. Roger is a past presi- 
dent of the VCU Alumni 
Association. He received his 
Master of Divinity degree from 
Union Theological Seminary and 
his Doctor of Ministry degree 
fi-om McCormick Theological 
Seminary. 



1970s 

Angelique Acevedo 
'75BFA/A was one of six educa- 
tors in Colorado chosen by their 
Department of Education to 
receive the Milken Family 
Foundation National Educator 
Award, a prize worth $25,000. 
The award ceremony took place 
at an education conference April 
7-9 in Los Angeles. Candidates 
are chosen by an independent 
selection committee which does 
not accept applications or nomi- 
nations for the prestigious award. 
Angelique teaches drawing and 
photography at Bear Creek Senior 
High School in Lakewood. 

Wanda Peery Alston 
'74BS/SW is an employment 
training supervisor for the city of 
Alexandria. She lives in 
Washington, DC. 

J. Michael Andrews 
'78BS/MC, a Navy Lt. 
Commander, recendy received 
the Defense Meritorious Service 
Medal as official recognition of 
his accomplishments, exceptional 
professional ability and perfor- 
mance of duty while serving at the 
Public Affairs Department. 
Michael was responsible for a 




IT DOG! 



Ken Magill '65BS/B '69MS/E, 

Treasurer of the VCUAA; Marsha 
Shuler '74BS '79IVIA/B, President- 
Elect; and Corky Evans prepare hot 
dog's at Now We're Cookin'. The 
cookout was hosted by the VCU 
Alumni Association on April 9th for 
approximately 1200 prospective 
students, parents and friends. Now 
We're Cookin' was part of the 
UES/Admissions spon 
sored Block Party for 
accepted students. 
Members of the 

alumni association enjoyed cooking and serving hot dog's, chicken nuggets and softdrlnks. 

The cookout provided opportunities for members of the Alumni Association to mix with prospective 

students, share their pride in VCU and encourage them to attend. Students and families 

were impressed with VCU's welcome and commented that other poten- _ _ 

tial colleges were not so kind. Peggy Adams '87BGS/NTS, President of HI 1 1 I _ 7 

the Alumni Association greeted guests, offering encouragement and 

strong alumni support for VCU. 



project in public affairs in a joint 
warfare environment and com- 
pletely restructured a major 
command post's exercise for 
officer students. He is currendy 
assigned to the Navy Office of 
Information in Washington, DC. 

Janice Brandt '73BS 
'80MEd/E was a featured speaker 
at Clemson University's recent 
conference on Professional 
Development for Women, held at 
the Richmond Marriott. Janice is 
the President/Principal at Brandt 
Management Group, Inc in 
Richmond. 

'John Buhl Jr'78BS/B was 
recently promoted to security 
manager at Virginia Power. John 
lives in Richmond. 

Nancy Cross '77MEd/E works 
at Virginia Power , where she was 
named project manager, nuclear 
services. She lives in 
Mechanicsville. 

Nancy Davis '71BPA/A joined 
Bonner & Waple Realty, Inc. as a 
real estate sales person. Nancy has 
a Master's degree in education 
from Virginia State University 
and a Doctorate from WUliam 
and Mary. She is a teacher on die 
support services staff at Lancaster 
County Primary School. She and 
her husband Jim and their three 
chOdren live in White Stone. 

Willie Jones Dell '70MSW/ 
SW is planning to retire in June 
after 17 years as Executive Direc- 
tor at the Richmond Community 
Senior Center Inc. She was 
recently featured in a Richmond 
Times- Dispatch article which 
highlighted her many contribu- 
tions to the retirees at the center 
as well as other "needy and for- 
gotten" people in the city. 

Paul Fleisher '75MEd/E wrote 
the text for Tlie Master 
k Violinmaker, a book 





SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



24 



for children published in 1993 by 
Houghton Mifflin and illustrated 
with color photography by David 
Saunders '77BS/E. 

Kenneth Gusler Jr '73BS/E 
recently wed Ann Berry in Salem, 
VA. Kenneth is employed by 
Cornett Realty in Roanoke, where 
the Guslers live. 

Maria Hall '73BS/SW was 
inducted into the UNC-Charlotte 
Alumni Association's Hall of 
Fame last October. Maria is cur- 
rently an addiction therapist at 
the Veteran's Administration 
Center in Salisbury, NC and a 
counselor at Rowan-Cabarrus 
Community College. She has also 
received the Hands and Heart 
Award presented annually by the 
Secretary of Veterans Affairs. 
Maria's other civic involvements 
include board member of Rowan 
Helping Ministries, a shelter for 
the homeless where she is devel- 
oping a substance abuse program, 
and board member of Crisis 
Assistance Ministry. 

Dr. Gloria J. Holland 
'76MBA/B is involved with the 
healthcare reform movement in 
the Department of Veterans 
Affairs. She lives in Woodbridge, 
VA. 

Emily Hopkins '77BA/H&S 
has been promoted to Navy 
Commander while serving with 
Navy Broadcasting Service 
Detachment in San Diego. Emily 
joined the Navy in 1977. 

Janet Hutchinson '75BFA/A 
has moved to West Virginia, after 
living in the Virgin Islands for 15 
years. She was one of 143 artists 
accepted into the 1993-94 West 
Virginia luried Exhibition at the 
Cuhural Museum in Charleston. 

Hiram Johnson '70BS/B was 
named manager, nuclear materi- 
als at Virginia Power. He lives in 
Richmond. 

Gerard Lequin '77BS/B was 
named the corporate director, 
Accounting and Budgets at 
Universal Leaf Tobacco 
Company, Inc. in Richmond. 
Gerard lives in Midlothian. 

David Saunders '77BS/E did 
the photo illustrations for The 
Master Violmmaker, a book for 
children published in 1993 by 



Houghton Mifflin and written by 
Paul Fleisher '75MEd/E. 

Sergei Troubetzkoy 
'78BFA/A is the director of the 
Augusta-Staunton- Waynesboro 
Visitors Bureau. Before coming to 
the Staunton area, Sergei worked 
for the Petersburg Department of 
Tourism for nearly five years. He 
completed studies and became a 
Certified Tour Professional in 
1989 and received the Public 
Sector Award from the Virginia 
Travel Council in 1991. 

William West 70BS/H8;S 
was named manager, support 
services at Virginia Power. 
William lives in Ashland. 

Woodrow Woodward Jr 
'79BS/B '82MPA/C8;PA has 
been named Resident Engineer 
for the Saluda Residency where 
he will oversee all maintenance 
and construction activities in 
the four-county residency. 

1 980s 

Scott Appelrouth 
'86BS/H8(S and Amie Thornton 
were married last June in 
Richmond. Scott is pursuing his 
doctorate in sociolog)' at New 
York University where he is an 
instructor. 

Lori Blackmon '84BA/H&S 
emailed an update. She is at 
George Mason University, "happy 
to be in school full time" working 
on a master's in public policy. 
She's also applying to PhD pro- 
grams, and "VCU is 
on the list!" 

Laura Bland 
'86/MC and Robert 
McFadden were 
married December 
19 in Halifax 
County. Laura and 
Robert are employed 
at the Danville 
Register & Bee. 

James W. Ford 
Brown '85BS/MC 
and Laverne Garrett 
were married 
October 9 at Smith 
Mountain Lake. The 
Browns live in 
Lynchburg. 



Lee Burgin '87MSW/SW 
recently addressed the annual 
training symposium of the 
Association for Family Therapy at 
York University in England. Lee 
and colleague Marcus G. Jones 
■85MSW/SW presented a 
program about abusive spousal 
relationships. Lee and Marcus are 
Co-Directors of the Roanoke 
Valley Family Therapy Practice. 

Martha Randolph Carr 
'83BS/H&S opened a publishing 
house in Richmond called 




Gale Crowder '86BGS/NTS (left), and Joan Rexinger 
'86BGS/NTS (right) share the spotlight with Corky Evans. 



Nimrod House. She is also the 
author of the psychological 
thriller Wired. Winner of a 1990 
Virginia Press Association award, 
she is presently working on 
another novel. 

Tammie Corbett '86BS/B and 
James Hardy were married last 
November in Newport News. 
Tammie is a senior merchandise 
manager for IC Penney 
Company. The Hardys live in 
Austin, TX. 




IN THE PARK AT 
STONEY POINT 

Over 200 alumni, guests and 
friends gathered at the MCV 
Physicians In the Park at Stony 
Point on Monday, May 9th for 
the Second Annual 
Neighborhood Alumni 
Reception. Approximately 5045 
alumni in the zip code areas of 
23225, 231 13, and 23235 were 
invited to the 
cocktail reception 
which was hosted 
by Judy Collins 
'75/IM and featured a 
state of the universi- 
ty address from 
President Eugene 
Tram. Also attending 
the event were a 
dozen accepted high 
school honor 
students from that 
neighborhood who 
are considering attending VCU. 
The Board of Trustees for the 
MCV Foundation held their 
regular meeting at the new 
facility on the same day and 
stayed for the reception. 

The concept behind 
Neighborhood Alumni 
Receptions, which began last 
spring at the Dominion Club in 
Wyndham, is to give alumni 
who live near one another a 
chance to know 
each other. The 
events are held in 
areas with heavy 
concentrations of 
alumni. Look for 
future events in 
Mechanicsville and 
Chesterfield County. 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY 
ANDY JONES 



School of Education Development Officer Shirley Park '84MEd/E 
(left) takes a moment to meet Lorene '86/N and William 
'88MURP/C&PA Davidson's newest addition to their family. 



25 



SUMMER 1994 







M 


> 





u 




mm iMu. 

Sheri Reynolds '92MFA/H&S 




BY SUSAN AHERN 

"I write in my dreams. My dreams are real intense," 
says novelist Sheri Reynolds. "That's where I get my 
best ideas." 

She also gets ideas by walking around her Fan 
neighborhood, talking to herself and looking, as she 
ardently puts it, "kind of crazy." But when she opens 
herself to stimulation from the outside world, 
Reynolds explains, "things click," and the magical 
part — ^which is what she cares most about in writing- 
happens. 

"I puU out my journal and sketch out this scene. 
All the words are there in the right order, and I feel 
more like a messenger than a creator. That's the best! 
Almost like it comes from somewhere else. Like I'm 
speaking for a spirit, and the message I've been given 
is the most important thing that spirit, if you want to 
call it that, has to say." 

Clearly, Reynolds writes out of her imagination 
and subconscious. Still, she feels free to allow social 
and political issues to enter her writing. With the proliferation of self-help groups over the last decade, Reynolds 
wanted to create a strong woman character who found answers to a troubling past, not in a group or a therapist's 
office, but within herself 

So in her first novel, Bitterroot Landing, due out next January from Putnam, Reynolds tells the story of a 
woman who runs away from an abusive background and takes a job as a church custodian. There, the young 
woman creates an earth goddess out of leaves, sticks, ashes and wax. She also begins talking to the statues, espe- 
cially the Vu-gin Mary. The voices of the statues talking back serve as a guide and help her heal herself 

"I see a lot of women — friends and family members" — said Reynolds, "who don't trust in themselves enough 
to know that they have the answers to the questions. And rather than finding answers within themselves, they rely 
on other people. And that weakens women." 

Reynolds credits VCU's MFA program in Creative Writing with giving her the structure and discipline 
important to a young writer. Enrolling in the program bought her time to write; and Tom DeHaven's novel- 
writing workshop provided useful critiques and deadlines — which resulted in Bitterroot Landing. (Faculty poet 
Greg Donovan would be delighted. "Our job," he says, "is to help our students build a foundation for a life as a 
writer.") 

Atypical of first novels, paperback rights to Bitterroot Landing have been sold, and Reynolds' book has been 
picked up as an alternate selection-of-the-month for the Literary Guild book club. Reynolds also has a contract 
with Putnam for two more books in progress. 

"I can't beheve it's real," she says. "1 just hope I'm disciplined enough to do what 1 have to do." With a begin- 
ning like this, it seems that both the foundation and the magic will hold. 

SUSAN AHERN IS A RICHMOND FREELANCE WRITER, 



William Coronado 

'84MBA/B was named the vice 
president and controller at 
Universal Leaf Tobacco 
Company, Inc. in Richmond. 
William lives in Chesterfield. 

Edward Cunningham 
'86MS/MC has been promoted to 
director of corporate communi- 
cations and investor relations for 
Tredegar Industries in Richmond, 
where he lives. 



Melike Dagli '87BS/B married 
Francis Monahan |r last 
September. The Monahans live in 
Richmond. 

Darin Dailey '86BFA/A and 
Suzanne Chastang were married 
last June in Calavaras Big Tree 
State Park. Darin is employed by 
Columbia City Hotel in Calavaras 
County, CA. 

Patricia Finney '87BS/B and 
William Bunns were married in 



September in Ford, VA. Patricia 
works at Stephen W. Bricker and 
Associates law firm in Richmond, 
where the couple lives. 

Sheryl HaU '87BS/B and 
David Holcomb were married 
October 16 in Richmond. Sheryl 
is a marketing representative for 
Snyder Hunt at Wyndham. The 
couple lives in Richmond. 

Bridget Huriey '88BFA/A and 
Dr. James Wilkinson were mar- 



ried in October in Duck, NC. The 
couple hves in Outerbanks, NC. 

Marcus G. Jones 
'85MSW/SW recently addressed 
the annual training symposium of 
the Association for Family 
Therapy at York University in 
England, along vnlh colleague Lee 
Burgin '87MSW/SW, on the 
topic of spousal abuse. Marcus 
and Lee are Co-Directors of the 
Roanoke Valley Family Therapy 
Practice. 

Sabra Jones '82MS/C8tPA is 
the new clerk for the Arlington 
County Board. Sabra lives in 
Lorton, VA. 

Susan J. Jones '86BS/B is the 
assistant vice president and office 
manager of Jefferson National's 
Germanna office. She is also a 
graduate of the Virginia Bankers 
School of Management. 

Larry Kidd '82MBA/B was 
named corporate director for 
administrative liaison at Universal 
Leaf Tobacco Company, Inc. in 
Richmond. Larry lives in 
Midlothian. 

Landon Kines '89BFA/A and 
Jerry Thompson were married 
September 18 in Amissville, VA. 
Landon is a furniture maker and 
has a shop in Calverton. The 
couple lives in Amissville. 

'David McDonald 
'88BS/C8cPA and Kimberly 
Ashley were married October 9 in 
Martinsville. David is a store 
manager for Revco Drug Stores. 
The couple hves in Martinsville. 

GaryMitcheU'83BS/E 
'86MURP/C8cPA has taken a new 
position as Warren County's 
director of planning. Previously, 
he held the same position in 
Farmington, NY. 

'Daniel Moody '81BS/C8£PA 
has joined the law firm of Bacon, 
Bacon, Johnson, Goddard & 
Moody in St. Petersburg, FL. He 
has had numerous articles on 
construction law published in 
state and national publications 
this year. Dan and his vnfe Tracy 
welcomed their first child, 
Matthew Jordan, on August 30. 

Kristen Neilson •89BS/MC 
and Kevin Cimock were married 
November 27 in Hampton. 
Before the couple moved to 
Williamsport, PA, Kristen was 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



26 



employed by Ferguson 
Enterprises, Inc. 

Mike Oberschmidt Jr 

'88MS/B was named vice presi- 
dent for human resources at 
Universal Leaf Tobacco 
Company, Inc. in Richmond. 
Mike lives in Midlothian. 

Kim O'Brien '88BS/C&PA 
married John Foley on September 
1 1 in Harwichport, MA. Both 
Kim and John work for Fidelity 
Investments in Boston. 

Marion Patterson '81BS/B 
was named director. Leaf 
Accounting at Universal 
Leaf Tobacco Company, 
Inc. in Richmond. Marion 
lives in Chester. 

Troy Perry '86BS/B 
'91MBA/B and Nancy 
Barnard were married 
October 23 in the Olde 
Towne section of 
Portsmouth. Troy is a financial 
planner with IDS Financial 
Services in Portsmouth, where the 
Perrys live. 

PeggyPillis'81BS/MCand 
William McLenagan were married 
October 2 in Williamsburg. Peggy 
works at The Martin Agency, in 
Richmond, where the couple 
lives. 

'Robert Pratt 'SOBA/HScS has 
received national recognition for 
his book. The Color of Their Skin: 
Education and Race in Richmond, 
Virginia, 1954-89, published in 
1992. Pratt was given the 
Gustavus Myers Award for 1993 
by the Gustavus Myers Center for 
Human Rights in Fayetteville, AR. 
The book was an extension of a 
seminar paper Pratt wrote as a 
graduate student at UVA. He is 
currently an assistant professor of 



history at the University of 
Georgia in Athens. 

Stephen Pruitt '89BS/B and 
Patricia O'Connor were married 
at St. Peter's Catholic Church in 
Richmond October 16. Stephen is 
employed by Ernst & Young in 
Richmond, where the couple 
lives. 

Robin Pugh '89MSW/SW and 
Wayne Yoder were married 
December 4 in Petersburg. Robin 
works at lohnston-WUlis 
Hospital. The couple lives in 
Henrico. 



*Louise Seals '83MS/MC was 
promoted to managing editor of 
the Richmond Times-Dispatch in 
January. Louise joined the news- 
paper in 1968 and became an 
assistant manager in 1982. She 
lives in Richmond. 

Vernnese Spencer 
'87MSW/SW and Michael Leger 
were married last September in 
Lynchburg. Vernnese is a social 
worker at Catawba Hospital. The 
couple lives in Wirtz, VA. 

LorenaSuter'89MSW/SW 
and her husband Darrvl have 



PROSP[CTIV[ 

SIUDENT/A 

RFCEPIION- 



Alumni in Hampton Roads and 
Northern Virginia hosted recep- 
tions for prospective students in 
Newport News on April 12th 
and m Fairfax County on April 
14th. A total of 125 prospective 
students and their parents came 




Dana Ratliffe '86BS/C8(PA 

and Phillip Walker Jr were 
married last September in 
Danville. Dana works at the 
Department of Corrections. The 
Walkers live in Richmond. 

Janice Reavis '81MPA/C8tPA 
is the assistant to the president for 
human resources at Virginia State 
University. Before assuming the 
VSU position, Janice was the 
human resource director for the 
Virginia Department of 
Rehabilitative Services. Janice 
lives in Richmond. 

Richard Saunders '86BS/B 
has been elected President of the 
Richmond Chapter of the 
Association of Legal 
Administrators for 1993-94. He is 
also the chief operating officer of 
the Richmond law firm of Sands, 
Anderson, Marks and Miller. 



Ahimni Writers, 

Wordsmiths: 

We'll Ray for Prose 



Shafer Coiot Connections needs akimni witli tlie wiite 
stuff to do long and shoit feaaires, profiles, inteiviews. 
"We can iise contacts all over tlie countiy, so send us your 
samples. Know an unusual alumnus? CjOt an angle? We 
can use your ideas, too. Contact Mary Ellen Mercer, 
editor, at P.O. Box 843044, Riclimond VA 23284-3044; 
email mercer@cabell.va.i.edu; (804) 828-7029. 



relocated to Orlando, FL. Lorena 
is a social worker in the Preschool 
Diagnostic and Intervention 
Services Department of the 
Orange County School system. 
The couple had their first child in 
June. 

Margaret Teller '88BFA/A 
was promoted to Senior Art 
Director by Marketing Strategies 
Inc. in Richmond, where she 
lives. 

Bruce Thomas '88BS/B 
recently graduated from the 
University of Wisconsin- 
Madison's Bank Administration 
Institute School, the largest 
banking school in the country. 
Bruce is an administrative officer 
and assistant corporate secretary 
at the Bank of Essex. He, his wife 
and their two children live in 
Kilmarnock. 

Christina Tucci '89BS/B and 
lames Brooks were married in 
September in Menlo Park, CA. 
Christina is a branch manager 
with Citibank in Chicago, where 
the Brooks' now live. 

Deborah TweUs '86BS/H&S 
married Joseph Thompson III 
October 23 in Washington, DC. 
Deborah is employed by Allstate 
Financial Corporation in 
Shirlington and the couple lives in 
Arhngton. 



to learn more about VCU from 
alumni and to talk with admis- 
sions officers, current students 
and faculty members. The 
program was an opportunity for 
alumni to "sell" the university, 
encouraging students in their 
home communities to attend. 



APRIL 



Azaleas, not poinsettias, 
bloomed. And the presents 
were lumber, paint and dry wall. 
Volunteers at the annual 
Richmond community project 
repaired and brightened 40 
homes in Church Hill this spring. 
Green thumbs up, the VCU 
Alumni Association's Board of 
Directors planted a large azalea 
in each yard. 




Marilyn Campbell 'SlBSfMC adds 

mulch to an azalea. 



27 



SUMMER 



William Jaeger '92BS/B and 

Donna Olinger were married 
September 1 1 in Colonial 
Heights. William is employed by 
the Federal Reserve Bank of 
Richmond, where the couple 




Karen Turner Ward 
'83MFA/A played Billie Holiday 
in the Theatre Virginia produc- 
tion of "Lady Day at Emerson's 
Bar & GriU." Karen chairs the 
Theater Department at Hampton 
University. 

Bruce Wood '86MBA/B was 
elected vice president-financial 
and rate analyst at Lawyers Title 
Insurance Corporation in 
Richmond. 

1 990s 

Caroline Cooper 
'93BS/C&PA married William 
Davis November 6 in Roanoke. 
The Davises live in Colorado. 

Mark Dunford '90BS/B and 
Tina Curtis were married in 
September in Hampton, where 
they live. Mark is a manager at 
Roadway Package Systems in 
Norfolk. 



IoreneGewet'93BS/H&S 

married Lt. Robert Daniel in 
August in Virginia Beach. The 
couple lives in Fredericksburg. 

Gina Gibson '92BS/H&S and 
Kenneth Davis '91BS/H&S were 
married last summer in Norfolk. 
The couple lives in Richmond, 
where they are both in medical 
school at MCV. 

Lisa Gori '93BFA/A and 
Kevin Powers '92/M were 
married last summer in 
Chesterfield. Lisa works for 
Richmond City Schools and 
Kevin is a resident at 
Chippenham Hospital in 
Richmond, where the couple 
lives. 

Diane Gulden '9 IBSW/SW 
married Richard Gallegos Jr 
October 2 in Williamsburg. Diane 
works for Hanover County. The 
couple lives in Richmond. 

Robert Hancock '92BFA/A 
married Donna Stanley October 2 



in Mechanicsville. Robert is the 
assistant curator at the Museum 
of the Confederacy in Richmond, 
where the Hancocks live. 

Margaret Handley '93BFA/A 
was recently awarded the Jerry L. 
Hines Memorial Scholarship of 
$1,000 from the Virginia State 
Police Association. She is in her 
first year of graduate school. 

♦Jack Hull '91MFA/A recently 
received the Outstanding Teacher 
Award for the College of Liberal 
Arts at the University of 
Mississippi.where he is an 
Assistant Professor in interior 
design. 

Michelle Fredette '92BS/B 
and Gregory Trainum married 
November 6 in King George, 
where they live. Michelle is an 
insurance underwriter for GEICO 
in Stafford. 

SydeUe Freelon '94BS/C&PA 
and Garnell Watts married 
November 27 in Richmond. The 
Watts' live in Chesterfield 
County. 

Tamara Freeman '92BFA/A 
and Michael W. Jones married 
October 16 in Seaford, VA. 
Tamara is a sales manager for 
Hecht's Department Stores. The 
couple lives in Glen Allen. 

Deborah Hassen '93BS/H&S 
married Michael McNeely 
'92BS/B September 1 1 in Colonial 
Heights. Deborah is employed 
with Chester Realty Company 
and Michael works for Southside 
Regional Medical Center. 



Jennifer Johnson '93BS/B 
and Robert Hager '92BS '93BS/B 

were married September 1 1 at 
Fort Monroe in Hampton. The 
Hagers live in Richmond. 

Wesley Lawton '92BA/A is a 
student at the Wesley Theological 
Seminary in Washington. He had 
a solo art exhibit at the Semi- 
nary's Dadian Gallery from 
December 15 through January 4. 

Roger Leibowitz '91MBA/B 
and Kimberly Shefferman were 
married November 7 in McLean. 
Roger is employed by Comptdife 
in Richmond, where the couple 
lives. 

Suzanne Lemons '91BS/ 
C&PA married Matthew 
Wieringo '90BFA/A September 
11 in Richmond. Suzanne is an 
assistant manager at Lane Bryant 
and Matthew works for 
Presentation Resource of 
Richmond. 

Martin Mann '92BFA/A and 
Celeste HoUandsworth were 
married October 16 in 
Martinsville. Martin works at 
Blockbuster Video in Danville, 
where the couple lives. 

Marie Martin '90BGA/NTS 
and Wayne Mitchell were married 
September 1 1 in Altavista. Marie 
is a special events coordinator for 
Marithe & Francois Girbaud in 
Greensboro, NC. The couple lives 
in High Point, NC. 

Jennifer Marwitz '90BA/H&S 
has joined the Richmond law firm 
of Sands, Anderson, Marks & 
Miller as an associate attorney on 
the firm's Workman Compen- 
sation Team. 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



28 



flTLlJitai ^ » 

Helen Brake McGrath '94BGS/NTS 

VCU/NontnuiitionnI Studies Alumni Association Achievement Award 1 994 



BY MARIKA L BYRD '92BGS/NTS 

"It was overwhelming that I was rewarded for doing what I enjoy and the honor surprised me. It brought me back 
to life and gave me new hope," said Helen Brake McGrath. The VCU/Nontraditional Studies Alumni Association 
Board chose McGrath for the 1994 Achievement Award. During school, McGrath's studies and intense volunteer 
work focused on human services, particularly with children with chronic illness and their families. She plans to 
continue in graduate school. 

In her application essay, McGrath follows two themes in her education — Exodus and Angel. "Two and a half 
years ago when I entered the NTS Program, I was stuck. 1 was mired in the results of a teenage marriage, an 
abusive relationship, single parenting of seven children and financial uncertainty. I was overwhelmed with life and 
felt helpless to extract myself My children pushed me to apply to VCU and drove me to a NTS orientation led by 
Assistant Director Dorothy Fillmore. Months before applying to VCU, I had begun praying for healing for my 
family. My acceptance to VCU's NTS Program is part of that healing." 

As a "displaced homemaker," McGrath "felt I had never done anything that would be valued or marketable." 
McGrath remembered novelist Virginia Woolf describing an negative internal presence and voice that was her 
greatest obstacle. Woolf called it 'The Angel in the House.' "This Angel has also been my foe," said McGrath. 
"This female voice told me: 'No, you can't. You don't deserve success. You'll never do it. You are neglecting your 
children.'" 

It took quite a while, but Fillmore and Associate Director Dr. Sandra Nutall outtalked the Angel. At last 
McGrath was amazed at what she had accomplished while rearing seven natural children and two Asian foster 
children. Three of them have learning disabilities, one has a bilateral hearing loss, and one was chronically ill with 
a life-threatening condition. In spite of this, the oldest are now finishing college — one with a Master's in 
Engineering. 

Dr. David Franks is struck that McGrath "is totally unaware of how outstanding she is." Nutall cited 
McGrath's "commendable organizational skills in multiple and sometimes conflicting responsible roles," and her 
4.0 GPA. Professor Cliff Edwards says, "She has demonstrated outstanding courage dealing directly and intimately 
with dying persons and their families." Because of the quality of her insight and writing, Edwards is "convinced 
that we will be hearing a good deal more of Ms. McGrath and her work." McGrath was named to Who's Who 
Among Students in American Colleges and Universities for 1993 and inducted into the National Honor Society of 
Phi Kappa Phi. 

"To say that the NTS Program parted the Red Sea might be a bit dramatic, but it met me where 1 was and gave 
me an opportunity to find my way out of a situation that had been for me a kind of bondage: Exodus. It empow- 
ered my hopelessness and renewed my spirit," McGrath declares. 



MARIKA BYRD IS THE SECRETARY OF THE NTS ALUMNI 



• 
Ik 



• 





Floored. Helen McGrath with her 
chddren, who urged her to enroll at 
VCU. On the couch are: (l-r) 
Michael (16), Mark (19), Page 
(26), Larissa (Sean's wife), Sean 
(2S), Sara (14). Brian (23), and 
Hanna (12), taken at Brian's 
December graduation from North 
Carolina State University. 




NORIN CAROLINA 
ALUMNI RECEPTION 
MEONION 

Approximately 100 alumni and 
their guests met President Tram 
and each other at Alumni 
Receptions held in Raleigh, 
Winston-Salem, and Charlotte 
on March 7, 8, and 9. George 
Habel 'yB/MC hosted 
the Raleigh event at the 
Capital City Club. Chris 
Mandaieris '77/6 hosted 
the Winston-Salem event 
at the Piedmont Club, and 
Helen J, Ellis ■54/M hosted 
the Charlotte reception at 
the Tower Club. 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY THE 
CAPTURED IMAGE, 



RPI ALERT 

RPl Reunion Weekend 
April 28-30, 1995. 

All RPI alumni will be 
honored, and we hope to see 
all RPI classes represented. 

So mark your calendars 
now, make your plane reser- 
vations — and poke around 
in your closets. 

The Alumni Association is 

looking for RPI memorabilia 

to display. Pull out the old 

pennants, freshman 

beanies, those copies of the 

Wigwam^ Cobblestone and 

Proscript 

Let's share our history and 

memories. Please notify Bill 

lies, director of alumni 

activities, of your finds. 

Contact him at 

(804) VCU-ALUM 

(828-2586); 

fax (804) 828-0878; 

email 

mercer@cabell.vcu.edu; 

or P.O.Box 843044, 

Richmond VA 23284-.3044. 



JohnMcBride'93BS/H&S 

and Donna Robertson were 
married September 18. John and 
Donna are currently pursuing 
their master's degrees at VCU. 
John is a systems specialist at First 
North American National Bank. 
The couple lives in Richmond. 
Tracey Miller '92BS/B and 
Jeffrey Warner were married 
October 2 in 







Petersburg. The 
couple lives in Mt. Solon, VA. 

Tom Nicely '9 IBS/B was 
featured in the December issue of 
Virginia Business in an article on 
companies which pay for employ- 
ees' continuing education. Tom 
works for Pioneer Federal Bank. 

Keith Parker '91 BA/H&S 
'93MURP/C&PA has joined 
Greater Richmond Transit 
Company as director of planning. 
Keith manages the company's 
Planning Department and 
oversees use of federal, state and 
local grants. He is a member of 
the American Planning 
Association, the Virginia Planning 
Association and Omega Psi Phi 
Fraternity, Inc. 

Richard Perry Jr '92MBA/B 
and Megan Reed '91MHA/AH 
(HA) were married October 23 in 
Norfolk, where the couple lives. 
Richard works at Virginia Beach 
Federal Savings Bank and Megan 
at Sentara Norfolk General. 

Glenda Ramsey '90BS/H&S 
has completed the Navy's Officer 
Indoctrination School. Topics of 
study included naval history and 
traditions, military law and per- 
sonnel administration. Glenda 
joined the Navy in 1991. 



Grace Renn'92BFA/A 

appeared in the cable television 
movie Broken Chain about the 
coUaspe of the Iriquois 
Confederacy. The movie was shot 
on location in Virginia. 

Joni Shelton '9IMEd/E and 
Leonard Pritchard were married 
November 20 in Richmond. Joni 
works for the Hanover County 
School system. The couple lives in 
Glen Allen. 

Stephen H. Smith '93BS/H&S 
and Rebecca Winokur 




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were 

married October 2 in 
Richmond, where they live. 
Stephen works at Fox Meyer. 

Elizabeth Sousa '93BA/H&S 
and Donald Rhodes Jr were 
married September 18 in 
Richmond. Elizabeth works at 
River Road Antiques. The couple 
lives in Williamsburg. 

Patricia Strong '92BS/C&PA 
and Henry Foster were married 
September 4 in Martinsville. 
Patricia works for Citizens 
Against Family Violence. The 
Fosters live in Axton, VA. 

Eric Surratt '9IBS/B married 
Shanna Walton November 6 in 
Colonial Heights. Eric works for 
Circuit City, Innsbrook, in 
Richmond, where the couple 
lives. 

Karen Swanner '92MSW/SW 
married Hillery Schanck 
September 25 in Virginia Beach, 
where the couple lives. Karen is a 
social worker at United Methodist 
Family Service. 

Cindy Tate '93BS/H&S 
married David HaU '93BS/H&S 
in December in Staunton. David 



is a graduate student in sports 
management at the University of 
West Florida, where he is also the 
intramural coordinator and a 
teaching assistant. The Halls live 
in Pensacola. 

Katherine Wallace '90BFAyA 
married James Breakell 
September 25 on the Eastern 
Shore. Katherine works at Mill 
Mountain Theatre. The couple 
lives in Roanoke. 

Donna Wiles '92BS/H&S 

married Eric Lawson '92BA/H&S 

September 25 in Danville. Donna 

works in the contract division 

of This End Up Furniture and 

Eric works in the Dalcon Shield 

Claimants Trust department of 

A.H. Robbins Co. 




'81/B- 

■^Vivian Wihnouth 
'92MSW/SW married Bryan 
Horn October 16 in Roanoke. 
Vivian works at the Department 
of Medical Assistance Services in 
Richmond, where they hve. 



Obituaries 

1 930s 

Jeanette Heath '35BS/H&S 

summer 1993 in Lovingston.VA. 

1 950s 

WUham Dietrich Jr 

'56BS/H&SMay8, 1993in 
Richmond. 

Susan Hawkins '59MSW/SW 

May 4, 1993. 



SHAFER COURT CONNECTIONS 



30 



1 960s 

Carson Morris '61BS/H&S 

March 20 in Collinsville, VA. 

Phyllis Grove Murray 
'63BS/H&S '78MEd/E September 
in Richmond. 

1 970s 



Urn M 



Shafer Court Connections welcomes updates on marriages, family additions, job changes, relocations, promo- 
tions—whatever you think is newsworthy. Help us keep track of you by completing and returning this form. 
Recent newspaper clippings and photographs are also appreciated. Please mail to VCU Alumni Activities, 
310 North Shafer Street, P. 0. Box 843044, Richmond, Virginia 23284-3044. 



Robert Banks 78BFAyA 

November 26 in Richmond, 

Thomas Collins Ir'77BS/B 
'91MBAyB in Richmond on 
December 29. 

Mamie Farley '73BS/B 
December 18, 1989 in Richmond. 

J. Allen Minetree III 
'73BS/MC April 1 1 in Houston, 

A. Gordon Thomas '76BS/B 
died in a hiking accident last July. 
He is survived by his wife Camille. 

1 990s 

Paulette Jones '92BA/H&S in 

November in Danville. 

John Pitts '91BS/B May 22, 
1993 in Richmond. 



Key To Abbreviations 

Alumni are identified by year 
degree/school 

Schools, Colleges, Divisions 

A Arts 

AH Allied Health Professions 

B Business 

BH Basic Health Sciences 

C&PA Community and Public 

Affairs 
D Dentistry 
E Education 

H&S Humanities and Sciences 
M Medicine 

MC Mass Communications 
N Nursing 
NTS Nontraditional Studies 

Program/Continuing Studies 

and Public Service 
P Pharmacy 
SW Social Work 

Other abbreviations 

Cdertificate 

BGS Bachelor of General Studies 

BFA, MFA Bachelor, Master of 

Fine Art 
HLD Honorary Doctor of 

Humane Letters 



NAME/DEGREE/CLASS 



SPOUSES FULL NAME/IIF APPtlESl DEGREE/CtASS 



CHILDREN (INDICATE IF CURRENTLY ATTENDING VCUI 



PREFERRED MAILING ADDRESS 



HOME PHONE 

n CHECK HERE IF NEW ADDRESS 



JOB TITLE 



EMPLOYER 



iUSINESS ADDRESS 



WORK PHONE 



NEWS 



Important Note: If this magazine is addressed to an alumnus who no longer lives at the address provided on the address label, please advise us 
so that we can correct our records If you know the person's correct address, we would appreciate that information. Also, if a husband and wife 
are receiving more than one copy of the magazine, we would like to know so that we can avoid duplicate mailings Please provide the names of 
both individuals plus the wife's maiden name, if appropriate 



I 1 I am interested in sponsoring an extern Please send an mformation form 



31 



SUIUMER 1994 



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^Double congratulations to all of you earning second and third degrees. 




Virginia Commonwealth University 

VCU Alumni Activities 

310 North Shafer Street 

P. O. Box 843044 

Richmond, Virginia 23284-3044 

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